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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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Yoshikazu Uchida, PhD

Research Scientist, SFVAMC
Research Dermatologist, UCSF


The Role of Lipids in Skin

Dr. Uchida is an expert in the biochemistry of lipids, particularly sphingolipids, which protect skin cell surfaces from harmful environmental factors including dryness, ultraviolet irradiation, microbes, and chemicals. Interestingly, ceramides -- a type of sphingolipid – play two opposing roles in skin: they are required for barrier function, yet increased cellular ceramide levels triggered by oxidative stress such as UV irradiation or inflammation cause cell death. Dr. Uchida has defined how skin cells protect themselves against ceramide-induced cell death and recently discovered a rescue metabolic conversion of ceramide to its distal metabolites, which in turn enhances immunity and skin defense system. His research has led to the development of novel skin care products as well as therapies for skin disorders such as xerosis, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis.


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