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Contact Details:

Name:Desmond J Tobin

Address:Centre for Skin Sciences, School of Life Sciences, University of Bradford.

County:Bradford, West Yorkshire

Postal Code:BD7 1DP, GB


Telephone:+44(01274 233585


Summary of Research

My research has focused on a couple of areas of basic and applied skin/hair sciences. A) biology of human melanocytes/ pigmentation in skin and hair from both from its neuroendocrine regulation and its cell biology eg. we identified a self-similarity of the POMC peptide system in the human hair follicle pigmentary unit, how pigmentation can be regulated by CRF and POMC peptides (incl. beta endorphin), and more recently by bone morphogenetic proteins.

We also revealed an unexpected role for filopodia in melanin transfer under the influence of myosin-X and cdc42. B) Hair growth regulation and its associated disorders especially those with an immune basis (e.g., alopecia areata – we were the first to show that trichohyalin is a major immune-dominant antigen in acute AA). We were the first to identify antibodies to hair follicle-specific antigens in patients with acute alopecia areata, and also the first to establish melanocytes from the human hair follicles in long-term culture. Current and future work will continue to focus on the above areas.

Current Research Interests

  • Regulation of pigmentation in the normal and aging hair follicle
  • Identification of auto-antigens in alopecia areata
  • Role of neuroendocrine hormones in hair growth and pigmentation
  • Role of neuroendocrine hormones in skin pigmentation
  • Melanin processing in skin epidermis.
  • Melanin transfer in human melanocytes
  • Fibroblast subtype heterogeneity in haired human skin and their role in wound healing
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