The mission of the Center for the Study of Itch is to increase our understanding of the fundamental underlying mechanisms of itch and translate these findings into treatments for patients suffering from intractable itch. The formation of the Center is aimed to:
Expand the existing research capacity for itch and establish a research program that will significantly advance our understanding of skin-nerve interactions;
Increase interactions between basic research and clinical studies, bringing together investigators at the Medical School who share a common interest in itch;
Accelerate translational and clinical studies of itch to provide effective treatment for patients.
The Center includes two major academic sections:
Basic Research Section and Behavioral Core
The basic research program has two goals:
to elucidate the fundamental mechanisms of itch;
to serve as a catalyst for the development of novel therapeutic agents.
Clinical Research, Trials and Patient Care Section
The clinical section is an integral arm of the center charged with generating a phenotypic database for two reasons. The clinical database has two goals:
to prioritize basic research;
to provide a well-defined patient population for therapeutic trials towards evaluating the targeted therapies ultimately designed and developed by the basic research section.