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picture of skin damageTHURSDAY 9 JANUARY 2020  


Royal Society of Chemistry, London, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BA

Rachel E B Watson
Professor of Cutaneous Science Head of Division, Musculoskeletal & Dermatological Sciences, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Manchester

Cutaneous ageing has been long studied, but our understanding of the processes which govern this complex biology has been informed from experiments on skin from lightly-pigmented volunteers, typically of Northern European heritage. These studies have shown the detrimental impact of sun exposure, both acutely and as a result of chronic irradiation: we now appreciate the consequences of short-term exposure – erythema (or sunburn) and DNA damage within the epidermis, but also the chronic effects of photoexposure, such as the significant remodelling of the dermal extracellular matrix, and its subsequent impact on the functionality of the tissue. One major assumption is that, because of the higher epidermal melanin content in individuals with skin of colour, such sun damage will not occur, and so sun protection may be of little benefit. Studies by our group and others are now challenging whether this dogma is factual. In this presentation, I will review our knowledge of the impact sun exposure across levels of cutaneous pigmentation and present to you our findings on the long-term impact of solar ultraviolet radiation of the skin of individuals with higher melanin content.

picture of Rachel WatsonBiography 
Rachel Watson (BSc (Hons), PhD) is Professor of Cutaneous Science within the School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine & Health at the University of Manchester. She received her BSc (Anatomy & Cell Biology) and PhD degrees from the University of Sheffield. As well as being the Academic Director of the MSc in Skin Ageing & Aesthetic Medicine at this University, she sits on the editorial boards of 3 scientific journals and is Section Editor (Translational Research) of the British Journal of Dermatology. Rachel also sits on the Research Committee of the British Association of Dermatologists. Her research includes understanding the mechanisms which lead to skin ageing and the assessment of extracellular matrix repair, particularly by topical retinoids.

Time 6.30pm Refreshments & networking; 7pm Lecture

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