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Immunity in Skin Development, Homeostasis and Disease

28th February 2016 - 2nd March 2016
Tahoe City, United States


Skin is the largest human organ and the major interface between the human body and the environment. As such, skin plays a key role in health and well-being. Hundreds of different diseases are manifested in skin – e.g., infectious diseases, autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases, skin cancers – and skin is a very common site of disease, leading to a major fraction of all visits to healthcare providers each year. Skin is also a major avenue for drug delivery and an area of increasing focus by industry, both because of unmet medical needs as well as skin’s ready accessibility relative to other organs. For example, both melanoma and psoriasis are proof-of-principle disease areas where insights into mechanism have led to therapeutic breakthroughs using targeted therapies for major patient benefit. Significant headway has been made in recent years in our understanding of normal development, homeostasis and repair in skin. With this progress has come increasing recognition of the role played by interactions between the many different types of cells in skin. A key set of interactions are those between skin cells such as keratinocytes and cells of the immune system. This meeting will provide a unique setting for in-depth discussions between skin biologists, dermatologists, immunologists and cancer biologists. More specifically, the meeting aims to: 1) Review and discuss recent progress in understanding the role of immune function in skin development, homeostasis and pathology; 2) Review and discuss the molecular and cellular basis of pathogenesis in skin diseases and targeted therapies; 3) Highlight areas of progress as well as needs and opportunities for further research; 4) Clarify concepts and models regarding interactions between skin and the immune system; 5) Highlight how research findings will be, or might be, extended to understanding disease and creating treatments; and 6) Stimulate new collaborations and foster the scientific and professional development of all attendees, with a special emphasis on trainees and early-career scientists. 

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