Unique Features of Human Skin

Event Dates: 
Oct 16, 2015 -
1:00pm to 5:30pm
Event Chairs:

Pascal Gagneux, University of California, San Diego
Nina Jablonski, Pennsylvania State University

Summary
The skin is the major interface between the human body and its environment.  It supports diverse and complex functions from protection to vitamin photosynthesis, thermoregulation, and communication.  Although the structure and function of human skin have been well characterized, the evolution of human skin remains inadequately understood. Great strides have been realized in the study of the evolution of skin pigmentation, but the evolution of functional nakedness, humans’ prodigious ability to sweat, and the origins of the human breast (the body’s largest modified sweat gland) are still largely matters of conjecture. The skin’s microbiome is emerging as one of most important factors in maintaining barrier functions, but much remains to be discovered about its diversity and roles in health and disease.  How can the many gaps in our knowledge of the evolution of human skin be closed?  This symposium will bring together scientists representing evolutionary biology, genetics, dermatology, anthropology, and physiology to share their knowledge and questions about human skin in an explicitly evolutionary framework.

Event Sessions

Media for each talk can be played by clicking on icons in the "Media" column, or by clicking on the individual talk titles below and then the attachment file at the bottom of the page.

Date Media Session Title Speakers
Fri 10/16 File Welcome Ajit Varki, UC San Diego School of Medicine
Fri 10/16 File Opening Remarks Nina Jablonski, Pennsylvania State University
Fri 10/16 File Skin, a Window Into the Evolution of the Human Super-Organism Richard Gallo, University of California, San Diego
Fri 10/16 File The Genetics of Skin Pigmentation Mark Shriver, Pennsylvania State University
Fri 10/16 File The Skin and Ultraviolet Radiation: Effects on DNA and Carcinogenesis James Cleaver, University of California, San Francisco
Fri 10/16 File Human Skin: Sweating, Thermoregulation, and Water Balance Michael Sawka, Georgia Tech
Fri 10/16 File Ecology and Evolution of the Skin Microbiome Rob Knight, UC San Diego
Fri 10/16 File Of Lice and Men: The Molecular Evolution of Human Lice Mark Stoneking, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Fri 10/16 File Subcutaneous Fat in Humans Chris Kuzawa, Northwestern University
Fri 10/16 File Evolution of Hair Follicles, Mammary Glands, and Sweat Glands in Humans and Other Mammals Sarah Millar, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine
Fri 10/16 File Naked, Colorful Skin and Its Role in Human Social Interactions Nina Jablonski, Pennsylvania State University
Fri 10/16 File Wrap Up, Question and Answer, and Closing Remarks All Speakers