The NIH-funded Columbia University Medical Center Skin Diseases Research Center(CUMC-SDRC) provides the central core of the basic science research laboratories of the Department of Dermatology at this University. Three central scientific themes are supported by the center: 1) Genetics and immunology to find novel strategies to treat skin and hair disorders; 2) Stem cells and skin cancer with development of novel, mechanism-driven targeted strategies to prevent and treat these cancers and 3) Skin and neuroscience with strategies to help define the mechanism of somatosensory signaling and itch sensation. The CUMC-SDRC takes advantage of the strengths of both basic and clinical researchers and promotes research collaborations that enhance scientific productivity across Columbia University and the greater NY area. Three Research Cores units provide shared facilities, equipment and technical services tailored for skin diseases research. These are: Tissue Culture and Histology Core, Immunophenotyping Core and the Advanced Imaging Core. In addition, these research centers support short-term, innovative pilot projects that involve exploration of new research directions. These projects enable established skin disease researchers to pursue new, innovative ideas. They also allow investigators from other fields to apply their expertise to problems related to skin diseases.