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Dennis Roop, Ph.D.

Dr. Dennis Roop


Dennis Roop, Ph.D.

Professor of Dermatology
Charles C. Gates Chair of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology
Director, Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology

University of Colorado Denver

Anschutz Medical Campus
P.O. Box 6511
Mail Stop #8320
Aurora, CO 80045

Research Interests:

My laboratory has had a long-standing interest in studying genetic pathways required for normal skin development and in the identification of genetic alterations that occur in inherited skin diseases and in acquired skin diseases such as cancer.

The outer layer of the skin, the epidermis, is constantly renewed by adult epidermal stem cells, which persist throughout life. We have recently shown that epidermal stem cells are defective in some inherited skin diseases that exhibit fragile skin. Our current research efforts are focused on developing methods to isolate and correct defective epidermal stem cells so that they could eventually be grafted onto patients with inherited skin fragility syndromes. Improved methods for the isolation and manipulation of epidermal stem cells could also be used for treating patients with chronic wounds or severe burns.

Finally, we are also testing whether adult skin stem cells can be reprogrammed to form other cell types, such as neuronal cells.

Recent publications: 

Arin, M.J., Longley, M.A., Wang, X.J. and Roop, D.R. (2001) Focal activation of a mutant allele defines the role of stem cells in mosaic skin disorders. J. Cell Biol. 152: 645-649.

Cao, T., Longley, M.A., Wang, X.J. and Roop, D.R. (2001) An inducible mouse model for epidermolysis bullosa simplex: Implications for gene therapy. J. Cell Biol. 152: 651-656.

Waikel, R., Kawachi, Y., Waikel, P.A., Wang, X.-J., Roop, D.R. (2001) Deregulated expression of c-Myc depletes epidermal stem cells. Nature Genetics 28: 165-168.

Koster, M.I., Kim, S., Mills, A.A., DeMayo, F.J., Roop, D.R. (2004) p63 is the molecular switch for initiation of an epithelial stratification program. Genes Dev. 18: 126-131.

Sil, A.K., Maeda, S., Sano, Y., Roop, D.R. and Karin, M. (2004) IkappaB kinase-alpha acts in the epidermis to control skeletal and craniofacial morphogenesis. Nature 428: 660-664.

Caulin, C., Nguyen, T., Longley, M.A., Zhou, Z., Wang, X.J., and Roop, D.R. (2004) Inducible activation of oncogenic K-ras results in tumor formation in the oral cavity. Cancer Res. 64:5054-5058.

Koster, M.I. and Roop, D.R. (2005) Asymmetric cell division in skin development: a new look at an old observation. Dev. Cell 9:444-446.

Koster, M.I., Kim, S., Huang, J., Williams, T. and Roop, D.R. (2005) TAp63α induces AP-2γ as an early event in epidermal morphogenesis. Dev. Biol. 289(1): 253-261, 2006.

Koster, M.I., Lu, S.L., White, L.D., Wang, X.J., and Roop, D.R. (2006) Reactivation of Developmentally Expressed p63 Isoforms Predisposes to Tumor Development and Progression. Cancer Res. 66(8):3981-3986.

Koster, M.I., Dai, D., Marinari, B., Sano, Y., Costanzo, A., Karin, M., and Roop, D.R. (2007) p63 induces key target genes required for epidermal morphogenesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104:3255-3260.

Caulin, C., Nguyen, T., Lang, G.A., Goepfert, T.M., Brinkley, B.R., Cai, W.W., Lozano, G., Roop, D.R. (2007) An inducible mouse model for skin cancer reveals distinct roles of gain- and loss-of-function p53 mutations. J. Clin. Invest. 117:1893-1901.