Dr. Garza runs a molecular biology laboratory that studies skin stem cells and wound healing with an emphasis on identifying the next generation of wound therapeutics and diagnostics.
While at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Garza and Dr. George Cotsarelis discovered that prostaglandins might be the catalyst that causes baldness. They also pinpointed the receptor on the prostaglandin cell, making it a target for possible future therapies for male pattern baldness.
Our group is interested in investigating hypotheses on basic skin questions that are directly relevant to skin disease in humans. We hope that through rigorous hypothesis-driven research into skin biology, we will gain important insights that will directly improve patient care.
Our model system is the skin. To answer basic questions regarding stem cell biology and regeneration, we choose the skin because of its accessibility, the depth of current knowledge, and the complexity of epithelial/mesenchymal interactions in the context of relevant vasculature, nerves and hematopoietic cells.
The current focus of the lab is what controls and maintains skin identity. Regions of our skin are remarkably diverse in function and features. Despite constant cellular turnover, each area’s features are remarkably maintained. We study how, under normal conditions, identity is actively maintained and how it might be manipulated. We also study how, during wounding, skin identity is typically lost (i.e., scar), but in rare situations complete regeneration occurs.
Understanding these questions will have broad significance to regeneration and stem cell biology in multiple organs. Understanding wound healing programs that re-initiate embryonic developmental patterns might eventually lead to insights on how to trigger the re-growth of a severed human limb, for example.
Lab Website: Garza Laboratory
"Effects of Antibiotics and Acne on the Skin Microbiome"
"Feasibility Study for Fibroblast Autologous Skin Grafts"
"Timolol for the Treatment of Acne and Rosacea"
Nelson AM, Loy DE, Lawson JA, Katseff AS, Fitzgerald GA, Garza LA. "Prostaglandin D2 inhibits wound-induced hair follicle neogenesis through the receptor, Gpr44." J Invest Dermatol. 2013 Apr;133(4):881-9. doi: 10.1038/jid.2012.398. Epub 2012 Nov 29
Garza LA, Liu Y, Yang Z, Alagesan B, Lawson JA, Norberg SM, Loy DE, Zhao T, Blatt HB, Stanton DC, Carrasco L, Ahluwalia G, Fischer SM, FitzGerald GA, Cotsarelis G. "Prostaglandin D2 inhibits hair growth and is elevated in bald scalp of men with androgenetic alopecia." Sci Transl Med. 2012 Mar 21;4(126):126ra34. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3003122
Nelson AM, Reddy Sk, Ratliff TS, Hossain MZ, Katseff AS, Zhu AS, Chang E, Resnik SR, Page C, Kim D, Whiitam AJ, Miller SC, Garza LA. "dsRNA Released by Tissue Damage Activates TLR3 to Drive Skin Regeneration". Cell Stem Cell. 2015 Aug 6; 17(2):139-51
Kim D, Hossain MZ, Nieves A, Gu L, Ratliff TS, Mi Oh S, Park A, Han S, Yang NB, Qi J, Taube JM, Kang S, Garza LA. "To Control Site-Specific Skin Gene Expression, Autocrine Mimics Paracrine Canonical Wnt Signaling and is Activated Ectopically in Skin Disease". Am J Pathol. 2016 May; 186(5): 1140-50
Nelson AM, Katseff AS, Resnik SR, Ratliff TS, Zhu AS, Garza LA. "Interleukin-6 Null Mice Paradoxically Display Increased STAT3 Activity and Wound-Induced Hair Neogenesis". J Invest Dermatol. 2016 May; 136(5): 1051-3