Name of the research center: CENTER FOR THE MORPHOLOGIC STUDY OF THE SKIN/ acronym MORPHODERM

Director of the research center: Professor Caius Solovan, MD PhD

Date of establishment/ acknowledgement: 05.03.2021

Research areas/ research opportunities:

The availability of the cutaneous organ for direct interaction has given rise to numerous directions of clinical and fundamental research. From different techniques of tissue examination in pathology to direct in vivo examination of the skin using photography, ultrasound and laser, from direct observation to machine-assisted interpretation, we are constrained only by the instruments at our disposal and our own imagination.

In recent years, the activity of our center has embraced two paradigms, one aimed at the molecular and genetic level, and one centered on in vivo examination using modern tools such as confocal microscopy and in vivo ultrasound. These have traced a number of strategic research directions that we wish to pursue.

  1. Molecular mechanisms of disease in melanoma. We have extracted and analyzed micro-RNA in ocular, mucosal and cutaneous melanomas and compared them with micro-RNA-s obtained from melanocytic nevi. Overall, we identified several micro-RNAs with significantly altered expression in primary melanomas, including those reported for the first time in this type of cancer. We are interested in continuing this collaboration with disciplines such as Biochemistry, Pathology and Oncology.
  2. In vivo microscopic examination of the skin. We have access to advanced imaging hardware such as in vivo confocal microscopy and high frequency ultrasound. These techniques, together with videodermatoscopy and clinical photography allow us to see cutaneous disease in a much more detailed manner, all in the setting of noninvasive examinations performed on an outpatient basis. This area of research, part of the larger concept of multimodal examination in skin disease, lends itself to collaboration with disciplines such as Radiology, Pathology (for clinical-pathological correlations), Pharmacology (noninvasive evaluation of topical therapies) and Oncology (screening and early intervention in melanoma) and Bioinformatics (machine learning algorithms for automatic interpretation of digital images).
  3. Genetic alterations in cutaneous lymphoma. There is an imperative need to understand the differences and similarities between benign and malign lymphoproliferative dermatoses. We aim to identify and compare genetic alterations and molecular events pathogenicity of these diseases. At the same time, in this area of interest, copy number alterations (CNAs) may play an essential role in the genesis of cancer out of genes expression dysregulation. Studies in this field might potentially clarify lymphomagenesis, discover new diagnostic molecules or even guide targeted therapeutic approaches. Collaboration in this area is desired with Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, Pathology and of course Hematology and Oncology.

Scientific endeavor is a team effort and we are open to all proposals for collaboration from our colleagues and hope to foster long term relationships in the interest of advancing this fascinating field of dermatologic research, spanning all the way from bench to bedside.

Members list:

Titular members:

Nr.

Name and surname of the titular member (didactic/ research personnel)

Didactic/ research degree

1.

SOLOVAN CAIUS

Profesor, MD PhD

2.

CRISTODOR PATRICIA

Assistant lecturer , MD PhD

3.

TOMA OLIVIA

Assistant lecturer , MD PhD

4.

CRISTEA-GUG GEORGIANA

Assistant lecturer , MD PhD

5.

GENCIA IOANA

Assistant lecturer , MD PhD

6.

AVRAM STEFANIA

Assistant lecturer , MD PhD

7.

POPA VALENTIN

Assistant lecturer , MD PhD

 

Associated members:

Nr.

Name and surname

Student, masters student, PhD student, postdoctoral student, auxilliary and non-teaching staff

1.

BOTA IZABEL

Auxilliary staff