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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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Peter M. Elias, MD

Staff Physician, Dermatology Service, SFVAHCS
Professor of Dermatology, UCSF


The Structure and Function of Skin

Dr. Elias is singularly responsible for the present wealth of knowledge on both the structure and myriad functions of mammalian stratum corneum.  His pioneering research since the 1970's has dispelled the myth of the stratum corneum as a "dead, keratinized, basket-weave" structure, to establish the iconic "brick and mortar" model.  Through his efforts, the stratum corneum is now viewed as a metabolically active, two-compartment composite that functions as a biosensor.  The resultant "outside-in" concept of the barrier as a prime mover in the pathogenesis of cutaneous disease has also been a highlight of Dr. Elias' work, with the paramount role of skin barrier dysfunction in disease pathogenesis now widely recognized.

Over the past 30-plus years, Dr. Elias' lab has been the destination for more than 70 young investigators, representing multiple countries, a trend that still continues to enrich the field of academic dermatology with an armamentarium of techniques and disciplines on the cutting edge of science on epidermal structure and function.  Dr. Elias continues to mentor his vast network of associates and postdoctoral fellows, past and present, several of whom have achieved leadership roles in academia and industry the world over.  His oeuvre comprises over 550 scientific publications, the great majority of which appear in high-impact, peer-reviewed journals, and including several books that he has either edited or co-edited.  The ever-increasing impact of his continued work on cutaneous biology is readily evident with a review of his contributions to the literature during the past five years alone (i.e., >120 published manuscripts), with co-authorship of more than 75 abstracts/presentations at the Annual Meetings of the Society for Investigative Dermatology since 2003.

To see Dr. Elias on Pub Med, click here.