Charles Institute

Established via an agreement between City of Dublin Skin & Cancer Hospital Charity (aka Hume Street Trust) and UCD, the Charles Institute of Dermatology is currently the only dedicated academic centre for dermatologic research and education on the island of Ireland. It began its life in September 2011 under the directorship of Dr Wolf Henning Boehncke, with directorship passing to Dr Martin Steinhoff in 2014 and to Dr Desmond J Tobin (2018-present).

The iconic building of the UCD Charles Institute of Dermatology, which sits next to the UCD School of Medicine on the north-west Belfield campus, has the capacity for up to 70 research scientists at all levels of their development. This multi-disciplinary centre engages in the study of skin and its appendages in both health and disease. The current research focus is on genetics, immunology/inflammation, wound-healing, cancer, and pigmentation science, using innovative technologies (transcriptomics, proteomics, interactomics, metabolomics etc.) to complement state-of-the-art imaging, molecular and cellular biology approaches. Together, the Charles aims to make meaningful advances in our understanding of how the skin, our body's largest organ, can be maintained in a healthy state and how diseases of the skin may be tackled for patient benefit.

The Charles Institute is home to two large open-plan state-of-the-art interdisciplinary research laboratories, each with an adjacent instrument room, providing bench space for up to seventy researchers. These laboratories are equipped with general and high-specification equipment reflecting the interests of the research groups in molecular and cell biology and polymer chemistry.

The Institute also has direct access to a suite of core technology platforms in the adjacent UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular & Biomedical Research. The UCD Conway core technologies programme is the most comprehensive and advanced analysis platforms for the life sciences and biomedical research on the island of Ireland. Utilising advanced core technology expertise and equipment in areas such as genomics, proteomics, imaging and flow cytometry enables a wide range of data driven experimentation and underpins dermatology research activities.

Areas of research currently underway in the UCD Charles Institute of Dermatology can be found at Briefly, these includes Wound healing; Inflammatory skin disease (incl. psoriasis, hidradenitis suppurative, alopecia areata); genodermatoses and its therapy (incl. epidermolysis bullosa); and pigmentation science (incl. vitiligo, hyperpigmentation).  The Charles Institute welcomes inquiries from medically-trained colleagues with an interest in dermatology research, for short projects to longer MD and PhD-type projects.  The Charles Institute is actively developing its education platform in both clinical dermatology and the cutaneous sciences (see:, which includes a Professional Certificate in Clinical Dermatology for medically-qualified applicants (contributed by a faculty of over 20 of the island’s leading consultant dermatologists), and a Professional Certificate in Skin and Hair follicles Science for scientifically-qualified applicants.   
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