Christopher Bunick MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of and Instructor in Dermatology
structural biology of skin proteins; x-ray crystallography; epidermal structure and function; structure-based drug design
Dr. Bunick uses a technique called x-ray crystallography to determine the high resolution, three-dimensional structures of proteins important to both normal and diseased skin. Knowing the structure of various skin proteins enables a better understand of how a protein functions in normal and diseased skin states. Ultimately, it may lead to the development of novel therapies.
Extensive Research Description
Dr. Bunick has over 20 years of research experience in x-ray crystallography of proteins. He currently is the only American Board of Dermatology certified dermatologist who performs primary crystallography research. His current work is determining the 3D structures of proteins important for skin barrier formation. For example, he has determined the crystal structure of the N-terminus of human profilaggrin, an important protein for maintaining a normal skin barrier. Problems with profilaggrin can lead to the human skin diseases atopic dermatitis and ichthyosis vulgaris. The structural biology research in Dr. Bunick's laboratory offers biochemical understanding of how the human skin barrier forms and functions, and offers the ability to perform structure-based therapeutic design.