Thomas Darling, MD

Thomas Darling, MD

Name: Thomas Darling, MD, Ph.D.

Department of Primary Appointment: Molecular & Cell Biology
Position: USU Faculty
Title: Professor

Affiliated Departments: Molecular & Cell Biology,

Research Interests:
The processes of hamartoma formation and skin regeneration

Email: thomas.darling@usuhs.edu (link sends e-mail)
Office Phone: (301) 295-3528 x301
Fax Number: (301) 295-3150

Links
Department Website

Profile

Our laboratory investigates the processes of hamartoma formation and skin regeneration. On the one hand, our studies of skin hamartomas in patients with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) are directed at finding new treatments for patients. We explore cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions that contribute to tumor formation in the hope of identifying new molecular targets for treatment. We showed that mTOR signaling is activated in TSC skin tumors and we are studying rapamycin and other drugs for the treatment of TSC. On the other hand, we are elucidating how the signaling pathways altered in TSC tumors promote hair follicle neogenesis. We observed that fibroblast-like cells from TSC skin hamartomas induce human hair follicles in grafted skin equivalents. Recently, we presented the first successful generation of human hair follicles in bioengineered dermal-epidermal composites using normal adult cells. Our future studies will continue to explore novel approaches for treating TSC as well as the signaling pathways that promote skin regeneration over repair.