Christopher Bunick MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of and Instructor in Dermatology

Research Interests

structural biology of skin proteins; x-ray crystallography; epidermal structure and function; structure-based drug design


Research Summary

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.


Selected Publications

  • Bunick CG, Presland RB, Lawrence OT, Pearton DJ, Milstone LM, Steitz TA. (2015) Crystal Structure of Human Profilaggrin S100 Domain and Identification of Target Proteins Annexin II, Stratifin and hsp27. J Invest Dermatol. 2015 Mar 11. doi: 10.1038/jid.2015.102. PMID: 25760235
  • Bunick CG. (2014) Perspectives on physiology and medicine from nobel prize winners: the 64th lindau nobel laureate meeting. J Invest Dermatol. Dec;134(12):2853-5.
  • Ibrahim O, Bunick CG, Srivastava B, Lazova R, Ko CJ, Watsky KL. (2014) The role of infliximab in the treatment of superficial granulomatous pyoderma of the head and neck. J Am Acad Dermatol. Nov;71(5):e222-5.
  • Bunick CG, Ibrahim O, King BA. (2014) When erythema ab igne warrants an evaluation for internal malignancy. Int J Dermatol, Jul;53(7):e353-5.
  • Bunick, CG, Miller, MR, Fuller, BE, Fanning, E, Chazin, WJ. (2006) Biochemical and structural domain analysis of xeroderma pigmentosum complementation group C protein. Biochemistry 45(50), 14965-79.
  • Bunick, CG, Nelson, MR, Mangahas, S, Hunter, MJ, Sheehan, JH, Mizoue, LS, Bunick, GJ, Chazin, WJ. (2004) Designing sequence to control protein function in an EF-Hand protein. J Am Chem Soc, 126(19), 5990-5998.

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