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Summer Student 2017: Shreya Asher

Shreya Asher, supervised by Professor Mike Philpott at the Animal Replacement Centre Queen Mary University of London, developed a skin cell culture model to better understand skin cancer and replace experiments on mice.

Large numbers of mice are used every years to investigate skin biology and disease. However, mouse skin is very different to human skin both in terms of thickness, number and size of hair follicles and sebaceous glands and lack of sweat gland, cell turnover, response to cancer agents and immunology.

In her summer project, Shreya helped to develop a prototype human skin model which is made using redundant human skin left over from cosmetic surgery and is widely available to researchers. The model can maintain normal skin structure and cell division and also maintains resident immune cells, which are usually lost within 24 hours of cell culture in other models.

Further validation of this model and acceptance by skin researchers would lead to drastic reduction in the use of animals for skin research – saving an estimated 3000 mice per year in the UK.


Page last modified on June 13, 2019 12:21 pm