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B.A, Alfred University, Alfred NY (Chemistry)
M.S, The George Washington University, Washington, DC (Biochemistry)
Ph.D., The George Washington University, Washington, DC (Chemistry)
The overall interest in our laboratory concerns the interaction between solar ultraviolet radiation and mammalian skin. We are currently studying the photochemistry and photobiology of mammalian collagen(s). Current thinking is that UV - induced damage to collagen in vivo is due mainly to the action of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP's) that are induced by the impinging sunlight. We are most interested in the direct photochemical effects of solar wavelengths on collagen. We have discovered that the non - amino acid fluorescent molecules that occur in collagen over time are unstable to these wavelengths. This raises the possibility that the collagen molecules, and therefore the intercellular matrix, may be altered, usually in a way that is detrimental, by the direct interaction of the collagen with sunlight. In this latter mechanism, MMP induction is not needed in order for damage to occur. This project studies these processes in both in vivo and in vitro models. In addition to our interest in these deleterious photochemical processes, we are also interested in compounds that can photoprotect against solar damage, and we therefore carry out studies that evaluate potential sunscreens. Choice of these materials is aided by the photochemical studies, as they indicate which wavelengths one needs to protect against.
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