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Maranke I. Koster, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Maranke I. Koster, PhDDirector: Histology (Morphology and Phenotyping) Core,
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus


M.S. - VU University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1994-1999
Ph.D. - Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, 1999-2004

Postdoctoral Fellowship:

Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, 2004-2007

Research Interests:

Epidermal morphogenesis and differentiation; Epidermal and hair follicle stem cells; Skin cancer; Ectodermal dysplasias

Program and Departmental Associations:

Department of Dermatology
The Charles C. Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology
Cancer Cell Biology Program, University of Colorado Cancer Center
Cell Biology, Stem Cells, and Development Graduate Program
Biomedical Science Graduate Program
Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI)

 Development and homeostasis of the epidermis and hair follicles

Research in my laboratory is aimed at investigating the role of the transcription factor p63 in epidermal and hair follicle biology. To this end, my laboratory uses genetically engineered mice designed to either overexpress or ablate p63 from different cell types in the skin. These studies have led to the identification of critical functions for p63 in basal cells of the epidermis, including roles in proliferation and the initiation of differentiation. Further, we are currently investigating the role for p63 in hair follicle stem cells. In addition to using genetically engineered mice to investigate the role of p63 under homeostatic conditions, we are also using these mice to investigate the role of p63 under pathological conditions, including inherited skin diseases and skin cancer.


Koster Lab
Velmurugan Balaiya, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow

Research interests:  I am currently working on investigating the role of p63 in hair follicle bulge stem cells. Further, I am focusing on elucidating the in vivo role of p63 loss in skin squamous cell carcinoma development and progression. By identifying novel functions of p63, our studies will have implications for the treatment of hair abnormalities in patients with p63-related ectodermal dysplasias as well as for the treatment of patients with skin cancer.



Sangeeta Shrotriya, Ph.D. 

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research interests:  I
Dr. Maranke Koster’s laboratory and my 
research is focused in investigating 
the role of p63 in regulating the bulge stem cell population and underlying molecular mechanism.

Senthilnath Lakshmana Chetty, M.S.
Research Assistant
Research interests: I am interested in investigating the role of the transcription factor p63 in Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC). Our initial observations indicate that p63 loss occurs in a subset of skin SCCs. Using genetically engineered mice and cell culture models, my current efforts are directed towards understanding how loss of p63 promotes human skin carcinogenesis.

Selected Publications:

  1. Koster, M.I., Kim, S., Mills, A.A., DeMayo, F.J., and Roop, D.R. p63 is the molecular switch for initiation of an epithelial stratification program. Genes Dev. 18(2):126-31, 2004.
  2. Koster, M.I., Lu, S.L., Wang, X.J., and Roop, D.R. Reactivation of developmentally expressed p63 isoforms accelerates tumor development and progression. Cancer Res. 66(8):3981-6, 2006.
  3. Koster, M.I., Dai, D., Marinari, B., Sano, Y., Costanzo, A., Karin, M., and Roop, D.R. p63 induces key target genes required for epidermal morphogenesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 104(9):3255-60, 2007.
  4. Koster, M.I. and Roop, D.R. Mechanisms regulating epithelial stratification. Ann Rev Cell Dev Biol., 23:93-113, 2007.
  5. Koster, M.I. and Roop, D.R. Sorting out the p63 signaling network. J Investig Dermatol 128(7):1617-9, 2008.
  6. Koster, M.I. , Marinari, B., Payne, A.S., Kantaputra, P.N., Costanzo, A., and Roop, D.R. DeltaNp63 knockdown mice: a mouse model for AEC syndrome. Am J Med Genet A, 9:1942-1947, 2009.
  7. Kim, S., Choi, I.F., Quante, J.R.., Zhang, L., Roop, D.R., and Koster, M.I. p63 directly induces expression of Alox12, a regulator of epidermal barrier formation. Exp Dermatol, 18(12):1016-21, 2009.
    Koster, M.I. p63 in skin development and ectodermal dysplasias. J Investig Derm, 130:2352-2358, 2010.
  8. Mikkola, M.L., Costanzo, A., Thesleff, I., Roop, D.R., and Koster, M.I. Treasure or Artifact: A Decade of p63 Research Speaks for Itself. Cell Death Differ, 17(1):180-183, 2010.

Link to recent publications in PubMed