About the Presenter
John E. Harris, MD, PhD
Chair of Dermatology, Director of the Autoimmune Therapeutics Institute, and Director of the Vitiligo Clinic and Research Center
UMass Chan Medical School
Worcester, MA, USA
Dr. Harris is Chair of Dermatology, Director of the Autoimmune Therapeutics Institute, and Director of the Vitiligo Clinic and Research Center at UMass Chan Medical School.
He is a dermatologist and physician-scientist, caring for patients in a vitiligo specialty clinic and running a research laboratory focused on understanding disease pathogenesis and developing new treatments. His group integrates basic, translational, and clinical research strategies to accomplish this. As a result, early clinical trials in vitiligo have shown success.
Dr. Harris founded Villaris Therapeutics, whose focus is to develop an effective, long-lasting treatment for vitiligo, as well as NIRA Biosciences, Aldena Therapeutics, and Vimela Therapeutics, companies focused on inflammatory skin diseases.
Update on Vitiligo Pathogenesis
Take Home Message
Recent advances in understanding the mechanisms that drive vitiligo are leading to new treatments for the disease. Current strategies include inhibiting T cell function and migration to the skin, long-term survival of autoreactive memory T cells, and stimulation of melanocyte repopulation of the skin. An advanced understanding of cellular signaling within vitiligo lesions may lead to more advanced therapeutic approaches in the future.