Sean Christensen, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Dermatology

Research Interests

Skin Neoplasms

Research Organizations

Dermatology: Dermatologic Surgery

Stem Cell Center, Yale: Stem Cell Self-Renewal and Cell Symmetry

Research Summary

Our research efforts are focused primarily on elucidation of molecular mechanisms of skin cancer development. This occurs in two main areas. First, we are studying how normal keratinocytes and squamous cell skin cancers regulate the process of mRNA translation, facilitating the translation of certain mRNA into proteins while inhibiting others. This post-transcriptional control of gene expression plays a critical role in many aspects of biology, but has not been fully explored in the skin. We have identified a role for the Pumilio family of RNA binding proteins in regulating apoptosis, or cell death, within the epidermis, and we are also developing systems to identify novel regulators in the epidermal response to ultratiolet light. The second major area of research is focused on how mutations in critical tumor suppressor genes such as p53 allow mutated clones of cells to expand within defined fields of skin, eventually leading to cancer.

Selected Publications

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Sean Christensen, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Dermatology

Research Interests

Skin Neoplasms

Research Organizations

Dermatology: Dermatologic Surgery

Stem Cell Center, Yale: Stem Cell Self-Renewal and Cell Symmetry

Research Summary

Our research efforts are focused primarily on elucidation of molecular mechanisms of skin cancer development. This occurs in two main areas. First, we are studying how normal keratinocytes and squamous cell skin cancers regulate the process of mRNA translation, facilitating the translation of certain mRNA into proteins while inhibiting others. This post-transcriptional control of gene expression plays a critical role in many aspects of biology, but has not been fully explored in the skin. We have identified a role for the Pumilio family of RNA binding proteins in regulating apoptosis, or cell death, within the epidermis, and we are also developing systems to identify novel regulators in the epidermal response to ultratiolet light. The second major area of research is focused on how mutations in critical tumor suppressor genes such as p53 allow mutated clones of cells to expand within defined fields of skin, eventually leading to cancer.

Selected Publications

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Contact Info

Sean Christensen, MD, PhD
Patient Care Location
Yale Dermatologic SurgeryTemple Medical Center
40 Temple Street, Ste 5A

New Haven, CT 06510
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Mailing Address
PO Box 208059
New Haven, CT 06520-8059