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NCIRE-The Veterans Health Research Institute is the leading private nonprofit institute devoted to Veterans health research in the United States. Our mission is to advance Veterans health through research.

We support the work of some of the nation's foremost physicians and scientists at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the premier biomedical research facility in the VA system. All have faculty appointments at the University of California, San Francisco, which has its own proud traditions of research and patient care. We also partner with the U.S. Department of Defense to support health research on behalf of our men and women in the Armed Forces.

Those who have served in uniform have given their best for their country. In return, we believe that they deserve nothing less than the best health care research we can provide.

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Chia-Ling Tu, PhD

Associate Research Endocrinologist, Endocrine Unit, SFVAMC Department of Medicine, UCSF

Calcium Signaling and Calcium Sensing Receptor

 Keratinocytes in the epidermis progress through steps of differentiation that eventuates in the formation of permeability barriers against microbes, radiation, and water loss. Ca2+ (calcium) controls cell growth and promotes differentiation in keratinocytes. We have identified the Ca2+-sensing receptor (CaSR) as a central modulator of keratinocyte differentiation by activating intracellular Ca2+ signaling and promoting cell-cell adhesion. By using in vitro keratinocyte cultures and in vivo transgenic and gene-knockout mice models, my current research investigates the role of Ca2+ signaling and CaSR during skin wound healing. We anticipate that our studies not only provide insights into the mechanisms underlying epidermis physiology and pathology but also may identify new pharmacologic targets for the treatment of skin diseases of abnormal differentiation and for improving skin wound repair. My other research projects are in collaboration with Dr. Wenhan Chang. We generated mouse models in which CaSR is specifically knocked out in various tissues to explore the physiological functions of CaSR in mineral and energy metabolism.

To see Dr. Tu on PubMed, click here.