A break from the lab to run for EB
The Charles Institute of Dermatology in UCD is now a buzzing hive of research activity and, to our delight, much of that research is focused on EB. The commitment to EB shown by the researchers there is heart-warming and a number of them will be participating in the DEBRA Wicklow Mountains Challenge on Sunday!
A DEBRA-funded study on itch in EB has been up and running in the Charles Institute since the summer and is making good progress. A recent study from Korea reported that ‘patients with RDEB showed severe levels of pruritus [itch], which was more intolerable than pain’. Itch is also a big issue in other types of EB and the Charles Institute study is the first to try and understand how exactly the itch in EB arises. With improved understanding, it is our hope that it will be possible to identify drugs that can help treat it. The researchers, working closely with the Irish EB dermatologists, are now close to a point where they will be engaging directly with people affected by EB and offering them a chance to participate in the study.
The research group under the guidance of Dr. Wenxin Wang, is also making great progress into their research to deliver the necessary genes to EB skin. In an exciting development, they were recently awarded a large amount of funding from the National Science foundation of China which will support their EB work. It is allowing them to move to new phases of testing their potential therapy.