Centre for Genomic & Experimental Medicine
Centre for Genomic & Experimental Medicine

Sara Brown Research Group

Molecular and genetic mechanisms in atopic eczema

Professor Sara Brown
Professor Sara Brown - Professor of Dermatology and Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Science

Section Head: Genetic and Experimental Medicine

Research in a Nutshell

Sara is a clinical academic dermatologist, caring for patients of all ages with a wide range of skin diseases. Her research focusses on increasing the understanding of how a person’s genetic make-up predisposes to the inflammatory skin disease atopic eczema and associated systemic conditions. Sara is also an associate member of  the Centre for Inflammatory Research https://www.ed.ac.uk/inflammation-research/people/associate-members/prof-sara-brown.

The Brown Lab uses a human skin cells to create a skin organoid model which can be precisely manipulated to investigate specific molecular genetic effects. These studies are informed by genome-wide and population-based research with international collaboration. Current and future work tests gene-environment interactions, to address an important question regarding why eczema has increased in prevalence in recent decades.

The ultimate aim of Sara’s work is to define targets for the development of new and better treatments for people affected by eczema, dry skin (ichthyoses) and related allergic conditions.


Brown Lab Website (external)


Sara Brown research group


Prof Sara Brown Group Leader
Dr Martina Elias

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr Luke Johnston Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Mona Etorban Research Technician




  • eSkIN – the Skin Interest Network, University of Edinburgh
  • Tim Aitman, University of Edinburgh
  • Wendy Bickmore, University of Edinburgh
  • Stuart Forbes, University of Edinburgh
  • Andrew Baker, University of Edinburgh
  • Lavinia Paternoster, University of Bristol
  • Catherine Smith, Kings College London
  • Angus Lamond – University of Dundee
  • National Phenotypic Screening Centre – University of Dundee

Partners and Funders

  • Wellcome Trust - Senior Research Fellowship in Clinical Science

  • British Skin Foundation

  • Anonymous and philanthropic donors

  • BIOMAP consortium (Biomarkers in Atopic Dermatitis and Psoriasis) – funded by the EU Innovative Medicines Initiative


Scientific Themes

Genetics, genomics, dermatology, atopic eczema/atopic dermatitis, genetic epidemiology, environment, organoid model, transcriptomics, proteomics.