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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Northwestern University Skin Disease Research Center


The SDRC was established in August 2009 with funding from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NAIMS). The SDRC supports the research, education, and communication among 82 members, of which 68 are Bench Researchers and 14 are Clinical Collaborative Associate Members from 14 university departments and 7 divisions within the Department of Medicine. The goal of the Northwestern University SDRC is to promote outstanding bench and clinical research in cutaneous biology, ultimately to improve patient care.

The SDRC is comprised of an Administrative Core and three distinct Research Cores which include the Skin Tissue Engineering Core, the Morphology & Phenotyping Core and the DNA/RNA Delivery Core. The Core facilities are designed to help SDRC investigators accomplish their research goals related to cutaneous biology and to provide a level of support to newly recruited junior investigators who are interested in skin research. The Cores strive to provide all SDRC users with access to specialized techniques, expertise, biological analysis and instrumentation that enhances research progress. The Cores promote optimizing the capabilities of manpower, sharing available resources and efforts while being cost effective. Each Core has a permanent, dedicated, well-trained staff member whose primary role is the education and assistance of SDRC users in the special techniques available in that core. The Core facilities encourage collaborative opportunities between the Department of Dermatology and other departments within the Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern University. The Center provides education regarding new scientific investigation and technical advances to the university, and mentorship to junior scientists. In addition, funding of four SDRC funded Pilot and Feasibility Studies annually, encourages junior scientists and more senior scientists from other fields to perform research related to cutaneous biology.

Skin Tissue Engineering Core Services

  • Human Skin Cell Isolation and Immortalization from Neonatal Foreskins or Skin Biopsies
  • Short and Long Term Mouse Keratinocyte Cultures
  • Human Skin Equivalents
  • Human Dermal Fibroblasts
  • Human Melanocytes
  • Culture Medium Supplies
  • Training and Consultations

Morphology and Phenotyping Core Services

  • Routine Tissue Processing for H&E Evaluation (Paraffin)
  • Frozen Sections
  • Special Histochemical Stains
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • New Antibody Evaluation
  • Double Labeling
  • Tissue Microarray Staining
  • Special Sectioning Needs
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Computer Assisted Image Analysis
  • Laser Capture Microdissection
  • Mouse Phenotyping
  • Database and Repository
  • Skin Diffusion Analysis (Franz Cell)

DNA/RNA Delivery Core Services

  • Provide retroviral and lentiviral systems 
  • Provide consultations and assistance with cloning of cDNA/RNA into the lentiviral and retroviral expression vectors 
  • Production of the retroviral or lentiviral stocks
  • Generation of stably infected cell cultures of primary keratinocytes, keratinocyte and other epithelial cell lines
  • Provide consultation and training related to the generation of stably infected cell cultures in the experimental application of retro- and lentiviruses.
  • Data and information archive, including the newly established Lentivirus Vector Library


All manuscripts and grants presenting work supported by this core should include the following acknowledgement:

"This research was supported in part by resources provided by the Northwestern University Skin Disease Research Center (P30AR057216), Chicago, IL with support from the NIH/NIAMS. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Northwestern University Skin Disease Research Center or the NIH/NIAMS."


SDRC Home Page

Order from the SDRC

Contacts & Locations

Ward, 303 E. Chicago, Office #: 9-132

Amy S. Paller, MS, MD  
Center Director

Robert M. Lavker, PhD  
Associate Center Director

Eskedar Alem  
Associate Department Administrator

Yumekia Merkerson  
Financial Assistant
(312) 503-1815

Emily Divino  
Research Study Assistant
(312) 503-4883

Tarry, 303 E. Superior Street, Lab #: 4-750, 4-754, Office #: 4-753

Bethany E. Perez White, PhD  

Kathleen J. Green, PhD  
Associate Director

Ljuba Lyass, PhD  
Research Technician
(312) 503-4192

Tarry, 303 E. Superior Street, Lab #: 4-750, 4-754, Office #: 4-753

Joan Guitart, MD  

Robert M. Lavker, PhD  
Associate Director

Aya Kobeissi  
Research Technologist

David Pease  
Research Technologist

Tarry, 303 E. Superior Street, Lab #: 4-750, 4-754, Office #: 4-753

Irina Budunova, MD, PhD  

Alex Yemelyanov, MD, PhD  
Associate Director
(312) 503-4192

Pankaj Bhalla, PhD  
Research Associate