Research Project 1 – SKIN

Novel Pharmacological Inhibitors of Chemical Vesicants – Mediated Cutaneous Injury

In this research project, a team lead by Dr. Mohammad Athar will investigate epigenetic alterations involved in the molecular pathogenesis of skin lesions and develop antidotes that can block arsenicals-induce cutaneous injury.

The aims of this project are: 

  1. To characterize histone acetylation and chromation remodeling-associated with arsenicals exposure.
  2. To unravel the molecular mechanism by which arsenicals-mediated histone acetylations affect inflammatory and blistering responses. 
  3. To define the window of therapeutic intervention of arsenicals-mediated tissue damage by administering BDR4 inhibitors. 
Mohammad Athar, PhD
Director, UAB Research Center of Excellence in Arsenicals

Our goal is to fully characterize the kinetics of action and assess the therapeutic window of time (30, 60, or 120 minutes after exposure of arsenicals) in which BRD4 inhibitors are able to reverse arsenical-induced molecular changes and underlying skin inflammation and blistering. 

As part of research project 1, successful therapies in reversing skin inflammation/damage will be verified to reduce the extent of lung and kidney injury.  The successful completion of this project will lead to a paradigm shift in the existing knowledge of arsenicals’ toxicity and development of a novel series of mechanisms-based antidotes.

Photo (left to right): Zhiping Weng, Suhail Muzaffar, Luv Kumar, Purushotham Guroji, Mohammad Athar, Mohd. Shameel Iqbal, Anas Alsulami, Jasim Khan, Mahendra Kashyap, Changzhao Li, Mohammad Waseem, Wenwen Liu, and Mehtab Rana