Hello, I’m Thanos Niaouris and I am a postgraduate
student at King’s College London based at St John’s Institute of Dermatology. My supervisors are Dr Francesca Capon and Professor Catherine Smith and my research is funded by the Psoriasis Association. The focus of my research is Palmoplantar Pustulosis. This is a form of psoriasis that involves the appearance of painful pustules on the
palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. The aim of my research is to better understand the causes of Palmoplantar Pustulosis. Understanding the causes of a condition is always the first step towards developing a new treatment. So far, our lab has discovered an inflammatory mechanism that can cause Palmoplantar Pustulosis. We have identified that a protein called Interleukin 36 acts like a gear that sets in motion a number of participating genes, which leads to skin inflammation. My goal is to discover new parts of this inflammatory engine by analysing the genes of people with Palmoplantar Pustulosis. Once I identify such a malfunctioning gene, I will start a new round of experiments with the purpose of reversing the gene’s damaging function. This will be done by means of genetic
engineering and will involve culturing human cells in petri dishes. This research could pave the way for the production of a drug that would bring us one step closer to effectively treating Palmoplantar Pustulosis.
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