UofM Professors Receive Renewal of NIH Grant to Study Risks of Eczema

April 6, 2017 - Dr. Thomas Sutter and Dr. Carrie Hayes Sutter of the University of Memphis received an NIH-funded grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Science. The award is a competitive renewal of their previous grant "Cellular Determinants of Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Signaling."

The 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.

"These studies will greatly improve our understanding of how early life exposures to pollutants affect skin development and the susceptibility of children to disease and infection," said Tom Sutter.

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 Biological Sciences. 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 UofM Interdisciplinary Innovations Grant, where they received $350,000 for their project titled 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 Tom Sutter) Dr. Wilfried Karmaus and Dr. Hongmei Zhang of the School of Public Health.

Contact: Gabrielle Maxey