October 2023 — A news article on the digital magazine site Cosmetics & Toiletries announced that a new skin research center in the United Kingdom will advance skin care technologies and treatments. The new center hopes to address the evident need for more skin research, and to help fill the knowledge gap that exists in this field.
The University of York at Hull Medical School opened the Skin Research Centre in late September 2023, with a goal of bringing together leading scientists, clinicians and technology experts to improve skin health globally.
Their work will include an exploration of new skin care technologies and how conditions and diseases impact some patients more than others based on their socio-economic status. The center's faculty and collaborators plan to conduct research that will lead to improvements in the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients.
The launch event for the Skin Research Center was held in York Guildhall, and included many collaborative partners from industry, academia and the National Health Service (NHS) in England. Guests were welcomed by the director of the center, Prof. Tarl W. Prow, PhD, who introduced the center's goals.
"Our aim is to be a world-class research center which focuses on improving patient care through scientific discovery and I believe we are uniquely placed to do just that," said Prof. Prow in the center's press statement.
"Across our center, we have world-leading skin scientists who are undertaking research in skin microbiome, wound-healing and infection; infectious diseases and immunology; and skin aging and cancer.
We have access to clinicians within the NHS who understand skin health and the impact of skin disease on patients. And we have advanced technology experts who have the knowledge, expertise and industry connections to be able to develop novel solutions to support the diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions.”
One of those novel solutions is the Harpera™ microbiopsy tool, which Prof. Prow helped invent with Prof. Peter Soyer and their team at the University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia.
Trajan Scientific and Medical (Trajan) licensed the Harpera™ technology to commercialize it. The Harpera is now being distributed as an investigational use only (IUO) tool by Trajan, under the Neoteryx brand of microsampling products.
A primary goal for this new microbiopsy technology is to provide a minimally invasive sampling tool for research into inflammatory skin diseases and skin cancers. The Harpera is designed to enable minimally invasive collection of skin cells for convenient, scar-free biopsy procedures.
Several speakers at the opening event of the Skin Research Centre presented on their early work using the Harpera tool (IUO) to investigate various skin diseases and conditions.