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Research at NCIRE

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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Theodora Mauro, MD

Staff Physician and Chief of Dermatology Service, SFVAHCS
Professor in Residence and Vice-Chair of Dermatology, UCSF


Skin Acidification

Dr. Mauro was the first researcher to identify specific pumps in skin cells that acidify the uppermost region of skin and allow the skin to form a protective barrier. If this barrier is damaged, skin becomes dry and itchy, and common conditions, such as eczema, become much worse. Dr. Mauro has found that these pumps are important for newborn skin to acidify itself after birth. In addition, these pumps seem to be less active in aged skin, possibly causing or exacerbating skin diseases commonly seen in the aging veteran population. Dr. Mauro has developed a new approach to study skin condition, fluorescence lifetime imaging, which allows researchers to see exactly where and how fast skin acidifies itself. These studies will help in the development of topical agents that might hasten skin barrier recovery, via optimum skin acidification, in infants and adults.

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