State-of-the-Art Plenary Lecture I
Cristina de Guzman Strong, PhD, Washington University in St. Louis
Enhancer-Mediated Gene Regulation in the Skin
Cristina de Guzman Strong, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Dermatology, Center for Pharmacogenomics, and Center for the Study of Itch and Sensory Disorders at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. Dr. de Guzman Strong earned her B.S. in Biology at Emory University and her PhD in Human Genetics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She completed her post-doctoral fellowship in Dr. Julie Segre’s lab at the NIH. Her laboratory focuses on the epigenetics and transcriptional regulation of the Epidermal Differentiation Complex (EDC) locus for skin barrier development and homeostasis. Her laboratory discovered functional regulatory elements and transcription factor-mediated chromatin remodeling in the EDC, highlighting genomic mechanisms for keratinocyte differentiation. More recently, the Strong lab was the first to demonstrate a requirement for an enhancer to activate gene expression in cis using CRISPR/Cas9 editing in the mouse. Her lab specifically discovered an enhancer for involucrin and the impact of an enhancer-involucrin haplotype that underwent a recent selective sweep in Europe thus revealing human skin evolution out of Africa. Her research has received funding by the National Institute of Health. Dr. de Guzman Strong is recognized as a WUSM Dean’s Faculty Diversity Scholar and is the founder and CEO of Evoly Skin LLC dedicated to developing targeted solutions for skin of diverse ancestries.