cristina de guzman strong, ph.d.

Assistant Professor of Dermatology



The long-term goal of the Strong laboratory is to understand the morphogenesis and homeostasis of functional tissue barriers.  Perturbations in this complex biological process often lead to inflammation and opportunistic infections.  We use the mammalian skin as a model system to explore the molecular mechanisms governing protective barrier formation informative for human disease studies.  The Epidermal Differentiation Complex locus (EDC) encodes proteins that are cross-linked together to form the barrier in the skin epidermis.   EDC genes are coordinately expressed in the developing epidermis and are upregulated during barrier disruption. Using genomics, bioinformatics, molecular and gene targeting approaches, we are investigating molecular control of coordinate EDC gene expression through epigenetic, chromosomal structure, transcription factor, and regulatory element studies.  

            Our lab is also interested in bringing the bench to the bedside.  Our translational research component seeks to identify the genetic basis of inflammatory skin diseases.  We are currently using “next-generation” sequencing to identify risk genetic variants in targeted genomic regions of affected patients.


Select publications


de Guzman Strong, C., Wertz, P., Wang, C., Yang, F., Meltzer, P.S., Andl, T., Millar S.E., Ho, I-C., Pai, S-Y., Segre, J.A. (2006) Lipid defect underlies selective skin barrier impairment of an epidermal-specific deletion of Gata-3. Journal of Cell Biology 175(4):661-70.


de Guzman Strong, C. and Segre, J.A.  (2008) Navigating the genome.  Journal of Cell Science 121 (Pt 7):921-3.


de Guzman Strong, C., Conlan, S., Deming, C.B., Cheng, J, Sears, K.E., Segre, J.A. (2010) A milieu of regulatory elements in the epidermal differentiation complex syntenic block: implications for atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. Hum. Mol. Genet. 19(8):1453-60.


Oh, I.Y., Albea, D.M., Goodwin, Z.A., Quiggle, A.M., Baker, B.P., Guggisberg, A.M., Geahlen, J.H., Kroner, G.M., de Guzman Strong, C. (2014) Regulation of the dynamic chromatin architecture of the Epidermal Differentiation Complex is mediated by c-Jun/AP-1-modulatd enhancer.  J Invest. Dermatol. 134(9):2371-80 *featured commentary and cover of the journal


Quiggle, A.M., Goodwin, A.Z., Marfatia, T.R., Kumar, M.G., Ciliberto, H., Bayliss, S.J., de Guzman Strong, C. (2015) Low filaggrin monomer repeats in African-American pediatric patients with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis. JAMA Dermatology, epub ahead of print (7Jan 2015).