Center for the Study of Itch

The Center for the Study of Itch seeks to understand the fundamental underlying mechanisms of itch and translate these findings into treatments for patients suffering from intractable itch.

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Center for the Study of Itch

The Center for the Study of Itch seeks to understand the fundamental underlying mechanisms of itch and translate these findings into treatments for patients suffering from intractable itch.

Learn more 


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CSI News

BBC interview: Itchy and Scratchy

"What is an itch and how does scratching stop it? Why does scratching some itches feel so good?!" asks Xander Tarver from Wisborough Green in West Sussex.

Our doctors set off to probe the mysteries of itch, and discover that this overlooked area of medicine is revealing surprising results about the human brain. From why itching is contagious to why scratching is pleasurable, we get under the skin of this medical mystery.

The programme features interview with dermatologist Dr Brian Kim from…

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Why itch is contagious?

Dr. Zhou-Feng Chen's team discovers why mice scratch in response to other mice scratching. Read news RecordSt.Louis Public RadioIndependent, NBC, Daily Mail, The Guardian, Hoffington Post, SmithsonianExpress, livescience, Inverse, Cell, 知识分子. Watch video here: Scientific American.

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Brian Kim named the recipient of 2016 Clinical Scientist Development Award by DDCF, Congratulations!

Dr. Brian Kim won the prestigious 2016 Clinical Scientist Development Award, according to The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation's announcement.  He is one of the 17 exceptional physician scientists selected from 169 applicants by a panel of experts in medical experts. Congratulations to Dr. Brian Kim!  Please read DDCF award announcement here.

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Research identifies a pair of itchy channels for treating itch

Dr. Zhou-Feng Chen's team has identified a pair of itchy ion channels working in concert to transmit different types of itch in sensory neurons, providing potential new targets for treating itch. For details, please read the news.

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New York Times Features Innovative Research at CSI

In a recent interview with The New York Times, Drs. Zhou-Feng Chen and Lynn Cornelius, talk about chronic itch as an unmet need and the clinical implication of the discovery of an itch-specific receptor called GRPR.

Read The New York Time article "Itching: more than deep-skin".

 

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Recent Publications

The antimicrobial peptide human beta-defensin 2 promotes itch through Toll-like receptor 4 signaling in mice.

Feng J, Luo J, Mack MR, Yang P, Zhang F, Wang G, Gong X, Cai T, Mei Z, Kim BS, Yin S, Hu H. The antimicrobial peptide human beta-defensin 2 promotes itch through Toll-like receptor 4 signaling in mice. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017 Apr 23; pii: S0091-6749(17)30663-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2017.03.035. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 28442325.

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Spinal Mechanisms of Itch Transmission

Barry DM, Munanairi A, Chen ZFNeurosci Bull. 2017 Apr 1. doi: 10.1007/s12264-017-0125-2. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 28365862.

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Molecular and neural basis of contagious itch behavior in mice.

Yu YQ*, Barry DM*, Hao Y*, Liu XT, Chen ZF. Molecular and neural basis of contagious itch behavior in mice. Science. 2017 Mar 10;355(6329):1072-1076. PMID: 28280205. (*These authors contributed equally to this work.)

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Recent Positive Selection in Genes of the Mammalian Epidermal Differentiation Complex Locus.

Goodwin ZA, de Guzman Strong C. (2017) Recent Positive Selection in Genes of the Mammalian Epidermal Differentiation Complex Locus.Front Genet. 2017 Jan 10;7:227. PMID: 28119736

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Effect of Counting Genetic Variants on Precision Treatment for Pediatric Atopic Dermatitis: Do Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch.

Mathyer ME, Coughlin CC, de Guzman Strong C. (2016) Effect of Counting Genetic Variants on Precision Treatment for Pediatric Atopic Dermatitis: Do Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch. JAMA Dermatol. 2016 Nov 30. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.4468. [Epub ahead of print].PMID: 27902823

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Facilitation of TRPV4 by TRPV1 is required for itch transmission in some sensory neuron populations.

Kim S*, Barry DM*, Liu XY*, Yin S, Munanairi A, Meng QT, Cheng W, Mo P, Wan L, Liu SB, Ratnayake K, Zhao ZQ, Gautam N, Zheng J,Karunarathne WK, Chen ZF.Sci Signal. 2016 Jul 19;9(437) PMID: 27436359. (*These authors contributed equally to this work.)

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Activation of TRPV4 Regulates Respiration through Indirect Activation of Bronchopulmonary Sensory Neurons.

Gu QD, Moss CR 2nd, Kettelhut KL, Gilbert CA, Hu H. Activation of TRPV4 Regulates Respiration through Indirect Activation of Bronchopulmonary Sensory Neurons. Front Physiol. 2016 Feb 29;7:65. PMID: 26973533

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