State-of-the-Art Plenary Lecture II
Immune Regulation of Skin Inflammation and Itch
Dr. Brian Kim is Assistant Professor of Dermatology, Anesthesiology, Pathology and Immunology, and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Itch at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. His laboratory focuses on innate immune mechanisms that underlie skin inflammation and the sensation of itch. Specifically, the Kim Lab identified previously unrecognized contributions of group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) and basophils to the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis (AD) in both mice and humans. These cells have emerged as critical sources of the type 2 cytokines IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13, which are now among the most important targets for biologic therapy in AD and other allergic disorders. More recently, the Kim Lab was the first to identify functionality of IL-4 receptor alpha (IL-4Ra) and Janus kinases (JAKs) in sensory neurons as master regulators of chronic itch in AD and other disorders. These studies have immediate clinical implications as type 2 cytokine and JAK blockade have emerged as some of the most efficacious therapeutics in AD. His research on the immune regulation of AD and itch has led to awards and funding from the National Institutes of Health, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, American Skin Association, American Academy of Dermatology, and the American Society for Clinical Investigation.