Autoimmunity/Immunogenetics in Skin

The Autoimmunity/Immunogenetics in Skin Research Program is investigating the genetic etiology and immune-pathogenesis of psoriasis and other autoimmune diseases that involve the skin. Current projects are aimed at several different aspects of skin immunology, with a primary focus on integrating basic immunology of skin and inflammatory skin diseases and genetics. Our researchers are examining the role of IL-13, an unappreciated and understudied inflammatory pathway, in the pathogenesis of psoriasis. This work seeks to identify a novel therapeutic target in psoriasis, perhaps leading to more effective treatment for patients with this chronic, and often, devastating disease.

Autoimmune diseases affect up to 7.5 percent of the U.S. population and are among the leading causes of death and disability. A striking feature of these many autoimmune diseases is their increased prevalence in females and overall it is estimated that 78 percent of people affected with autoimmune diseases are women. Another primary focus of this team’s work is to understand the underlying pathology of autoimmune connective-tissue-diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus and scleroderma, particularly the biological basis for their prominent gender-bias.

NIH Grants:

  • Role of IL-13 And The IL-13 Associated RS20541 Risk Variant in The Pathogenesis of Psoriasis (NIH/NIAMS 5R01AR069071; PI: Gudjonsson)
  • Role of The Gender Biased Transcription Factor VGLL3 in Promoting Autoimmune Responses in SLE (NIH/NIAMS 5R01AI130025; PI: Gudjonsson)
  • University of Michigan Skin Biology and Diseases Resource-Based Center,(NIH/NIAMS1P30AR075043:  PI: Gudjonsson)


Johann E. Gudjonsson, MD, PhD

Johann E. Gudjonsson, MD, PhD

Arthur C. Curtis Professor of Skin Molecular Immunology
Professor, Dermatology
Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg Emerging Scholar