Our group’s research addresses some of the most important issues around skin health in Australia. Conceptually, we try to understand the skin’s response to injury through inflammation or the activation and activity of stem cells. This knowledge allows vast applications in wound healing and scarring, ultraviolet induced photodamage and skin cancer development and progression.

We endeavour to have a translational approach. Our research encompasses epidemiology, basic and translational laboratory science and finally clinical trials around our group’s discoveries. In the laboratory, we develop and use genetically modified murine models to precisely understand the role of specific genes in the development or progression of disease. For diseases of interest, we have established specific and dedicated clinics for the management of patients. We benefit from large clinical cohort with well annotated material to validate our findings in patients and finally initiate clinical trials to evaluate novel biomarkers or therapeutic approaches.

  • Professor Kiarash Khosrotehrani

    Professorial Research Fellow
    The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute
    Affiliate Associate Professor
    Institute for Molecular Bioscience
  • Dr Edwige Roy

    Research Fellow
    The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute
  • Ms Susan Brown

    Casual Research Nurse
    UQ Centre for Clinical Research
    Research Nurse
    The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute
  • Ms Kirsty Fry

    Research Nurse
    The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute
  • Miss Ho Yi Wong

    Senior Research Technician
    The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute

Clinical research assistants

  • Dr Charlotte Cox
  • Dr Ruby Lee

PhD students

  • James Dight: Melanoma vascularisation
  • Raymond Zhao: Endothelial to mesenchymal transition
  • Ho Yi Wong: Clonal progression to skin cancer
  • Racheal Wadlow: Endothelial to mesenchymal transition
  • Seen-Ling Sim: Endovascular progenitor cell therapy
  • Cassandra Stykes: Potency of endovascular progenitors
  • Ghazaleh Hashemi: Melanoma vascularisation

Past research officers

  • Dr Jatin Patel
  • Dr Abbas Shafiee
  • Dr Rehan Villani
  • Dr Prudence Donovan
  • Dr Mathieu Rodero

Our current research projects cover three main clinical questions. Each question is addressed in the laboratory but also in clinical research

Skin wound healing

  • Modulation of wound inflammation and microbiome (NHMRC)
  • Molecular drivers of wound vascularisation and endovascular progenitors (ARC Discovery)
  • Scarring and endothelial to mesenchymal transition in wounds and scleroderma (DOD)

Clinical translation

  • IxeHeal trial: blocking IL17 to accelerate healing of chronic venous ulcers

Keratinocyte cancers

  • Epidermal clonal behaviour upon Ultraviolet irradiation and carcinogenesis (NHMRC)
  • Immune responses to basal cell carcinoma

Clinical translation

  • Chemo-immunoprevention of keratinocyte cancers in solid organ transplant recipients
  • Laser ablation to reduce mutational burden in photodamaged skin (clinical trial)(NHMRC)
  • Anti-proliferative agents to reduce skin cancer in organ transplant recipients (Randomized, double blind clinical trial)(PA-Research Foundation)
  • VMAT surface radiation to prevent skin cancer (randomized clinical trial) (Genesis Care)

Melanoma

  • Melanoma vascularisation through endovascular progenitors and metastasis (NHMRC)

Clinical translation

  • Phase 0 study of Sox18 inhibition in adjuvant setting (Randomized clinical trial)(NHMRC)
  • Vascular and immune biomarkers of disease progression in melanoma (Cancer Council)

Student projects

  • Modulation of wound inflammation and microbiome

Our work is funded essentially from the NHMRC, ARC and some industry partners.

  • 2017-2020. NHMRC CDF2. Modulating skin regenerative responses to improve wound repair and fight carcinogenesis. $470,144. Khosrotehrani.
  • 2020-2021: PR190852 US Department of Defense: Molecular Targets in Endovascular Progenitors to Inhibit Lung and Skin Fibrosis in Scleroderma. AU$278000 (Exact amount in negotiation). Khosrotehrani, Thomas, Talekar.
  • 2019-2021: APP1163986 NHMRC Project grant: Targeting the pre-metastatic vascular niche in melanoma using a novel molecular strategy. AU$843,856.80. Khosrotehrani, Francois, Barbour, Patel.
  • 2019-2021: DP190103187 ARC Discovery. Potency and activity of Meso-Endothelial bipotent progenitors in vivo. $350,000 Khosrotehrani, Patel, Yoder.
  • 2018-2021: APP1145350 NHMRC Project grant. Fighting epidermal skin cancers by targeting epidermal clones that accumulate mutations. $1,149,373.20. Khosrotehrani, Soyer, Saunders, Fink, Roy.

The Experimental Dermatology Group is part of the larger Dermatology Research Centre at UQ Diamantina Institute. This grouping around the Department of Dermatology of the Princess Alexandra Hospital forms one of the strongest academic dermatology teams in Australia.

The Experimental Dermatology Group is part of the Australian Skin and Skin Cancer Research Centre through a strong partnership with QIMR-Berghofer Medical Research Centre. 

We have a long-standing collaboration with Dr Mathias Francois at the University of Sydney on vascular progenitors.

Clinical partnerships

  • Queensland Health: Metro North and Metro South
  • Queensland Skin and Cancer Foundation (QIDerm: www.qiderm.com.au)

Industry partnership

  • Eli Lilly
  • Genesis Care
  • Gertrude