B. Lynn Allen-Hoffmann, PhD

Position title: Professor, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine

Email: blallenh@wisc.edu

Phone: 608-262-2884

Organ System/Disease Focus:
Skin, Epidermis, Epidermal Progenitors, Cutaneous Wound Healing
Aligned Research Focus:
Wound Healing, Hypoxia, Host Defense Peptides, Chronic Skin Ulcers, Diabetic Ulcers, Burns, Genetic Engineering
Lynn Allen-Hoffmann headshot


More information:
Research Description:

My research group is interested in cell signaling factors that regulate differentiation in keratinocytes derived from either human stratified squamous epithelia or embryonic stem (hES) cells. Potential signaling molecules include microenvironmental effects, as well as growth promoting, growth inhibitory, and differentiation factors.

Several basic scientific topics are currently under investigation. We are working to understand the proximal tissue interactions important for AhR ligand toxicity in human stratified squamous epithelia. We are also examining the ability of hES cells to respond to toxicological agents such as TCDD. Additionally, the microenvironmental factors influencing the differentiation of keratinocytes from hES cells are being explored.

Our translational research efforts focus on the generation of therapeutic skin substitutes utilizing the NIKS human keratinocyte cell line. The NIKS cells, discovered in the Allen-Hoffmann laboratory, are a consistent source of genetically uniform, non-tumorigenic, pathogen free human keratinocytes amenable to genetic manipulation. Currently, efforts are underway to generate and characterize NIKS cells genetically engineered to express factors known to enhance wound healing, including host defense peptides and factors improving vascularization. The use of bioengineered human skin tissue as a platform for genomic, proteomic, and imaging screening to identify new drugs and drug targets is also an area of active research in my laboratory.

Selected References:
  • Gibson AL, Schurr MJ, Schlosser SJ, Comer AR, Allen-Hoffmann BL. Comparison of Therapeutic Antibiotic Treatments on Tissue Engineered Human Skin Substitutes. Tissue Eng. In press
  • Slavik MA, Allen-Hoffmann BL, Liu BY, Alexander CM. Wnt signaling induces differentiation of progenitor cells in organotypic keratinocyte cultures. BMC Dev Biol. 2007 Feb 17;7:9.
  • Ji L, Allen-Hoffmann BL, de Pablo JJ, Palecek SP. Generation and differentiation of human embryonic stem cell-derived keratinocyte precursors. Tissue Eng. 2006 Apr;12(4):665-79.
  • Loertscher JA, Sattler CA, Allen-Hoffmann BL. 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin alters the differentiation pattern of human keratinocytes in organotypic culture. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2001 Sep 1;175(2):121-9.
  • Loertscher JA, Sadek CS, Allen-Hoffmann BL. Treatment of normal human keratinocytes with 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin causes a reduction in cell number, but no increase in apoptosis. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2001 Sep 1;175(2):114-20.
  • Allen-Hoffmann BL Schlosser SJ, Ivarie CA, Sattler CA, Meisner LF, O’Connor SL. Normal growth and differentiation in a spontaneously immortalized near-diploid human keratinocyte cell line, NIKS. J Invest Dermatol. 2000 Mar;114(3):444-55.