The overall goal of the Mount Sinai Skin Biology and Diseases Resource-based Center (SBDRC) is to accelerate research in skin biology and diseases and promote its translation to benefit human health. To achieve this, we harness the technical innovations, high-end infrastructure, and computing power available at Mount Sinai to advance and innovate skin research. SBDRC consists of an administrative core and three resource cores:
The Administrative Core
SBDRC Director Dr. Elena Ezhkova and Associate Directors Dr. Sarah Millar and Emma Guttman lead the Administrative Core, which is responsible for overall management of the center and for handling administrative and financial support for the resource cores. With the help of the Executive Committee and Internal and External Advisory Boards, the Administrative Core monitors and evaluates all SBDRC activities and continuously innovates and improves operations.
The Administrative Core organizes and supports the SBDRC’s enrichment activities, such as the Pilot Grant Program and the User Scholarship Program. It also facilitates interactions and collaborations between SBDRC members by organizing meetings, seminars, and annual retreats and supporting the NY Skin Club, a communal forum for skin researchers throughout New York City and neighboring regions.
The Resource Cores
SBDRC resource cores are designed to capitalize on Mount Sinai’s existing research expertise and institutionally-supported and highly innovative technological infrastructure. The cores consist of Resource Core B: “Modeling of Skin Disease for Mechanistic Analysis and Therapeutic Discovery”; Resource Core C: “Skin Genomics, Transcriptomics, and Epigenetics Core”; and Resource Core D: “Data Analysis and Integration Core.”
SBDRC is committed to enhancing the diversity of the skin research community. We leverage the Mount Sinai Laureates Program, which provides financial support for minority faculty recruitment. We also established the Mount Sinai Skin Scholars Program, which provides underserved minority East Harlem high school students with didactic teaching and hands-on laboratory experience in skin biology and disease research through a summer preparatory program and laboratory internships.
SBDRC Directors and Associate Directors
SBDRC is led by some of the premier research scientists in the field.
Elena Ezhkova, PhD, is a Professor in the Departments of Cell, Developmental, and Regenerative Biology, and Dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Her research focuses on the molecular mechanisms that control skin stem cells during development and into adulthood. Dr. Ezhkova has served as Vice Chair of the 2021 Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Epithelial Differentiation and Keratinization and Chair elect for the 2023 GRC on Epithelial Differentiation and Keratinization. She is a member of the Society for Investigative Dermatology Scientific Programs Committee, has played organizing roles in many scientific meetings, and was Chair of the Faculty Search Committee for the Black Family Stem Cell Institute, successfully recruiting four faculty members for 2020-2021.
Sarah E. Millar, PhD, is an SBDRC Associate Director and Director of the SDBRC Sinai Skin Scholars Program. Dr. Millar is Lillian and Henry M. Stratton Professorial Chair in the Departments of Cell, Developmental, and Regenerative Biology and Dermatology and Director of the Black Family Stem Cell Institute. Her research focuses on skin development, skin diseases, and epithelial structures. Dr. Millar has contributed to our understanding of the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms controlling skin development and stem cell behavior. She is a graduate of the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine program at Drexel University. At the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Millar served as Vice- Chair of the Department of Dermatology and Chair of the Dermatology faculty search committee. She was principal investigator of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases T32-supported Dermatology Research training grant, and Director and principal investigator of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases P30-supported Penn SBDRC. She initiated the Penn Academy for Skin Health program, which provides didactic and hands-on laboratory instruction for high school students from underserved Philadelphia public schools.
Emma Guttman, MD PhD, is an SBDRC Associate Director. Dr. Guttman is the Sol and Clara Kest Professor of Dermatology and Immunology in the Departments of Dermatology and Immunology, and Vice Chair of Research for Dermatology at Icahn Mount Sinai. She is also Chair of the Department of Dermatology at Icahn Mount Sinai, making her the first female in that role both within the school and throughout the city of New York. She is also the first MD/PhD-trained physician-scientist to chair the Dermatology Department at Icahn Mount Sinai. Dr. Guttman’s research focuses on inflammatory skin diseases including atopic dermatitis (eczema), contact dermatitis, ichthyosis, and keloids and alopecia areata. Her work combines clinical and laboratory studies in these diseases with analysis of treatment response mechanisms. Her work has elucidated the pathological mechanisms responsible for initiation and progression of atopic dermatitis, leading to development of novel targeted treatments.