NIH grant examines the contributions of environmental pollutants to skin disease

Drs. Thomas and Carrie Hayes Sutter received a NIH-funded grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Science. This award is a competitive renewal of their previous grant entitled, "Cellular Determinants of Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Signaling." This five year, $1.6 million award examines the contributions of early-life exposures to environmental pollutants to the risk of eczema, a serious skin disease that is common in children and predisposes them to allergy and asthma.

Tom is a Professor of Biology and Chemistry, and holder of the W. Harry Feinstone Chair of Excellence in Molecular Biology. Carrie is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Biology.

Supporting preliminary studies for this grant were performed in the W. Harry Feinstone Center for Genomic Research. Their research is in part the basis for a recent University of Memphis Interdisciplinary Innovations Grant, where they received $350,000 for their project entitled Eczema Prevention In Children (EPIC). This work will focus on skin disease in children in Memphis. Other University of Memphis EPIC consortium members include Dr. Su Chen of Mathematical Sciences, Dr. Marie van der Merwe of the School of Health Studies, and co-principal investigators (along with T. Sutter) Drs. Wilfried Karmaus and Hongmei Zhang of the School of Public Health.

You can learn more about Dr. Thomas Sutter at http://www.memphis.edu/biology/people/faculty/thomas-sutter.php and the W. Harry Feinstone Center for Genomic Research www.memphis.edu/feinstone/.