Christopher G Bunick, MD/PhD

Assistant Professor of Dermatology

Research Departments & Organizations

Dermatology: Medical Dermatology: Middlebury Dermatology

Research Interests

Biochemistry; Biophysics; Computational Biology; Crystallography, X-Ray; Dermatitis, Atopic; Dermatology; Epidermis; Ichthyosis Vulgaris; Molecular Biology; Proteomics; Skin

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.

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

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 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

See list of PubMed publications

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Contact Info

Christopher G Bunick, MD/PhD
Mailing Address
PO Box 208059
New Haven, CT 06520-8059

Dermatology Research in Nobel Laureate Dr. Thomas A. Steitz Laboratory

Keratin 1-Keratin 10 Helix 2B Complex

The x-ray crystal structure of the complex between 2B helices of keratin 1 and keratin 10 is shown as a partial molecular surface (left) or partial ribbon diagram (right). The structure is suspended in front of an x-ray diffraction image (left) and a keratin crystal (right).

X-ray Crystal Structure of Human Profilaggrin S100 Domain

The profilaggrin crystal structure suspended in front of four panels (upper left, immunofluorescence of profilaggrin localization; upper right, yeast-two-hybrid image for profilaggrin and annexin II interaction; lower left, crystals grown of profilaggrin; and lower right, an x-ray diffraction image collected on the profilaggrin crystals)