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ACADEMIC HEALTH CENTER FINDINGS

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July 2010 Issue
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Dermatology researchers Ana Luisa Kadekaro, PhD, and Zalfa Abdel-Malek, PhD, in the lab.
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Published July 2010

Study Explains Why Some Burn Easier Than Others
Zalfa Abdel-Malek, PhD, UC professor of dermatology, and a team of international researchers that includes UC assistant professor Ana Louisa Kadekaro, PhD, have discovered what happens to skin cells when a specific gene malfunctions.  

"It’s always been presumed that people who have fair skin should avoid the sun, but now we know who and why at the molecular level,” says Abdel-Malek.

The team found that when the pigmentation gene "melanocortin 1 receptor,” or MC1R, does not 
function properly, skin cells do not respond to the hormone MSH, which causes cells to produce dark pigmentation to protect themselves from ultraviolet rays.

The study suggests that it may be possible to develop drugs or a new generation of sunscreens that restore the lost function of MC1R. 

The research is currently funded by over $2 million in grants from the National Institute of Environ-mental Health Sciences and by smaller grants from various sources including a UC cancer pilot grant and a UC Center for Environmental Genetics pilot grant. Read more at healthnews.uc.edu/findings.


College of Medicine to Host Alumni Golf Outing July 19
The College of Medicine will hold its alumni golf outing at 11 a.m. Monday, July 19, at Wyoming Golf Club in Wyoming. Registration is $150 per player or $600 for a foursome. All proceeds benefit the IvaDean Medical Student Scholar-ship Fund and the Urban Health Project. Register at regonline.com/ COMgolfouting2. 


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