Understanding Biologic Skin Injury 

As the skin is an organ of immunity, skin is one of the most commonly affected organs in adverse reactions to medications, vaccines, and other exposures. As new medications, targeted therapies, and immunotherapies have been introduced, there has been a considerable increase in the incidence of severe cutaneous adverse reactions (SCARs).



Severe cutaneous adverse reactions (SCARs) are life-threatening skin responses to medications, infections, vaccines, and other exposures. SCARs are diverse and fall into several categories including desquamating (burn-like) and blistering types resulting in critical illness. Many of the medications commonly used in the military and across the world for the treatment of infections, mood disorders, musculoskeletal pain, and melanoma carry an increased risk of the development of SCARs. 

The Department of Dermatology studies immune reactions and wound-healing responses in the skin of patients suffering from SCARs. By combining translational research expertise with advanced genomic and molecular technologies, we are able to study the pathogenesis of both the reaction causing the wound and also of the healing process.

Our goal is to potentially identify therapeutics for patients. Additionally, with better understanding of the genetic predispositions for the development of SCARs, we will one day be able to prevent these life-threatening adverse reactions from occurring in the first place, via an individualized medicine approach.