Tomic-Canic Lab : Research

Research

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Short summary of current projects:

Biomarkers of wound healing

The goal is to determine specific set of biomarkers that is correlated with non-healing diabetic foot ulcers and further, their validation in prospective clinical study DFUs. The next step would be to determine predictive power of these biomarkers.

The Role of miRNAs in Diabetic Healing

The goal of this project is to utilize a genomics approach to elucidate the molecular pathogenesis of DFU­associated miRNAs by demonstrating their role in impaired wound healing and evaluating the ability of specific antagomirs (sequence­specific anti­miRNA oligonucleotides) to reverse the healing impairment and restore the normal healing cascade. This project focuses on identifying and testing new class of therapeutic agents that may reverse the pathogenic non­healing phenotype based genomics analyses of miRNA that may be used to prevent and/or treat non­healing DFUs in the future.

Statins in Wound Healing

Non-healing wounds are frequent in obese patients. This project aims to study cholesterol metabolism and its regulation in wound healing. For example, how systemic and/or topical statins regulate wound healing process in normo- and hyper-lipidemic porcine wound model. Furthermore, optimal statin(s) are studied in the presence and absence of wound infection.

Innate and Adaptive Immunity in acute and chronic wounds

This projects focuses on understanding of skin-specific local HPA axis and its role in tissue injury (physical, biological or chemical) including cross-talk between inflammation and cortisol synthesis, mechanism of action of epidermal glucocorticoids as well as the effects of systemic stress on this process.

Aging and Wound Healing

Chronic wounds are more frequently found in elderly patients. However, mechanisms by which aging contributes to inhibition of healing are not well established. Therefore, we focus on studying multiple aspects of aging process in skin and mechanisms by which it may contribute to impairment in healing, including, reduced steroid hormones, Vitamin D deficiency, inflammatory response, miRNAs.

For related clinical program, please see Dr. Robert S. Kirsner and his clinical research team