Center for the Study of Itch

Multidisciplinary program brings scientists and clinicians together to study mechanisms, treatment of itch

Zhou-Feng Chen, PhD

According to Zhou-Feng Chen, PhD, itching has had humorous associations within popular culture, but serious health effects for people with chronic afflictions.

The School of Medicine has launched its new Center for the Study of Itch, believed to be the world’s first multidisciplinary program designed solely to understand and treat itch.

The new center was established to bring scientists and clinicians together to conduct research on the mechanisms that transmit itch and, ultimately, to translate those findings into better treatments for chronic sufferers.

The Center for the Study of Itch will include two primary sections: Zhou-Feng Chen, PhD, director of the new center and professor of anesthesiology, psychiatry and developmental biology, will lead the basic research and behavioral core based in the Department of Anesthesiology; Lynn A. Cornelius, MD, co-director of the center and chief of the Division of Dermatology in the Department of Medicine, will direct the clinical side.

In addition to basic and translational research, the center will provide educational training opportunities for scientists interested in studying itch. The center is hiring three full-time faculty members to initiate more studies that focus on itch, its causes and potential treatments.

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