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Ryan Hobbs, PhD

Ryan Hobbs, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology
Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Scientific Program:Mechanisms of Carcinogenesis

Research Interests

The laboratory of Dr. Ryan Hobbs broadly studies how skin keratinocytes respond to mechanical, chemical and environmental stressors at the cellular and molecular levels. The inability to control stress responses is a key feature in all skin disorders. Thus, the lab's research seeks to identify and understand molecular mechanisms that underlie a number of distinct skin disorders including non-melanoma skin cancers, alopecia, vitiligo, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.

Major efforts are centered around the study of autoimmune regulator (Aire) in skin keratinocytes. Aire is a unique transcriptional regulator that is classically known as a master regulator of autoimmunity, owing to its abundant expression in a subset of medullary thymic epithelial cells and function as a key regulator of negative selection to eliminate self-reactive T-lymphocytes. Previous findings indicate Aire becomes abundantly expressed in skin keratinocytes in response to acute and chronic stressors. Loss of function mutations in Aire are causative for the disease autoimmune-polyendocrinopathy-candidiasis-ectodermal dystrophy (APECED). These patients often present with many skin abnormalities including hair loss, nail dystrophy, vitiligo, and oral mucocutaneous candidiasis. A central focus of the research program is to elucidate when, where, how and why Aire is expressed and functional in skin.

  • Keratin-17
  • Keratinocytes
  • Neoplasms
  • Intermediate Filaments
  • Skin
  • Gene Expression
  • Epithelium
  • Keratins
  • Desmoplakins
  • Genes
  • DNA Damage
  • Cell Proliferation

Recent Publications


Lesko, EM, Gao, T, Feehan, RP & Hobbs, RP 2024, 'Delayed Onset and Spontaneous Regression of DMBA/TPA–Induced Skin Lesions in Mice Lacking Autoimmune Regulator', Journal of Investigative Dermatology, vol. 144, no. 1, pp. 177-181.e2.


Maglakelidze, N, Gao, T, Feehan, RP & Hobbs, RP 2023, 'AIRE Deficiency Leads to the Development of Alopecia Areata‒Like Lesions in Mice', Journal of Investigative Dermatology, vol. 143, no. 4, pp. 578-587.e3.
Geng, Z, Wang, Q, Miao, W, Wolf, T, Chavez, J, Giddings, E, Hobbs, R, DeGraff, DJ, Wang, Y, Stafford, J & Gao, Z 2023, 'AUTS2 Controls Neuronal Lineage Choice Through a Novel PRC1-Independent Complex and BMP Inhibition', Stem Cell Reviews and Reports, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 531-549.


Nair, RR, Hsu, J, Jacob, JT, Pineda, CM, Hobbs, RP & Coulombe, PA 2021, 'A role for keratin 17 during DNA damage response and tumor initiation', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 118, no. 13, 2020150118.
Leon, KE, Buj, R, Lesko, E, Dahl, ES, Chen, CW, Tangudu, NK, Imamura-Kawasawa, Y, Kossenkov, AV, Hobbs, R & Aird, KM 2021, 'Dot1l modulates the senescence-associated secretory phenotype through epigenetic regulation of il1a', Journal of Cell Biology, vol. 220, no. 8, e202008101.
Wirth, PJ, Hobbs, R, Billingsley, E, Vidimos, AT & Lam, C 2021, 'Sonic Hedgehog Pathway Blockade After Surgical Debulk of Large Exophytic Basal Cell Carcinomas', Dermatologic Surgery, vol. 47, no. 8, pp. 1118-1119.


Jacob, JT, Nair, RR, Poll, BG, Pineda, CM, Hobbs, RP, Matunis, MJ & Coulombe, PA 2020, 'Keratin 17 regulates nuclear morphology and chromatin organization', Journal of Cell Science, vol. 133, no. 20, jcs254094.