Gordon Research Conferences
Meeting Details

Barrier Function of Mammalian Skin
Gordon Research Conference

Convergence of Biological and Technological Frontiers of Skin Barrier


August 13-18, 2017


Waterville Valley
Waterville Valley, NH Site Information


Samir S. Mitragotri & Joachim W. Fluhr

Vice Chairs:
Marek Haftek & David J. Moore

Application Deadline

Applications for this meeting must be submitted by July 16, 2017. Please apply early, as some meetings become oversubscribed (full) before this deadline. If the meeting is oversubscribed, it will be stated here. Note: Applications for oversubscribed meetings will only be considered by the Conference Chair if more seats become available due to cancellations.

Meeting Description

The 15th meeting of the Gordon Research Conference on "Barrier Function of Mammalian Skin" will be held at the Waterville Valley Resort between August 13th and August 18th, 2017. This Gordon Conference is focused on the scientific topics broadly related to skin barrier properties.

Mammalian skin, the largest organ of the body, forms the principal protection against exogenous threats. At the same time, it offers an active interface to communicate with the external world through exchange of materials and signals. Skin also offers a platform to harvest diagnostic signals from and deliver therapeutics into the body. Thus, skin has received significant attention in the scientific community for fundamental as well as translational research. A large community of researchers representing biologists, clinicians, physical and chemical scientists, engineers, pharmaceutical and cosmetic scientists are actively engaged in skin barrier research. This Gordon Research Conference serves as a platform to bring together this diverse community around this scientifically stimulating topic. The general theme of this conference is "Technology meets Biology", and the focus is on convergence of technology and biology to meet unmet needs in dermatological/transdermal research and patient/consumer interests. Speakers will represent technology and biology within the same session with the goal of providing an interface between the two and promote an active dialog.

Six general scientific themes will be highlighted in the conference: UV and the Barrier, Atopic dermatitis and Ichthyosis, Skin hydration, Wound healing, Follicular disorders, Itch and sensitive skin, and Tools and Technologies. These areas represent some of the most urgent and unmet clinical needs in the field. Significant advances have been made over the years to understand the underlying biology that defines the pathophysiology of clinical conditions related to barrier defects in terms of their origin as well clinical implications. At the same time, technologies that make use of tools such as wearable devices, high throughput screening, therapeutic devices, spectroscopy and mathematical models have also developed to understand, detect or intervene barrier related problems. This conference aims to explore the convergence of these approaches and bring together communities of biologists and technologies to pave the way for future discoveries and innovation.

Related Meeting

This GRC will be held in conjunction with the "Barrier Function of Mammalian Skin" Gordon Research Seminar (GRS). Those interested in attending both meetings must submit an application for the GRS in addition to an application for the GRC. Refer to the associated GRS program page for more information.


Preliminary Program

The topics and speakers for the conference sessions are displayed below (italics denote discussion leaders). The Conference Chair is currently developing their detailed program, which will include the complete meeting schedule, as well as the talk titles for all speakers. The detailed program will be available by April 13, 2017. Please check back for updates.

  • Keynote Session: Convergence of Biology and Technology
    (Samir Mitragotri, Joachim Fluhr / Martin Yarmush / Mark Prausnitz)
  • Atopic Dermatitis and Ichthyosis
    (Dennis Roop / Thomas Bieber / Stephen Weidinger / Pieter Dorrestein / Thomas White)
  • UV and the Barrier
    (Walter Holleran, Neil Kitson / Martine Meinke / Mark Saltzman / Kenneth Tsai)
  • Wound Healing
    (Theodora Mauro / Maria Morasso / Lim Chwee Tek / Dong-ki Lee / Westbrook Weaver)
  • Skin Hydration
    (Richard Guy, Michael Roberts / Anthony Rawlings / Jason Heikenfeld / Luis Rodrigues Monteiro)
  • Itch and Sensitive Skin
    (Peter Elias, Kenneth Feingold / Gil Yosipovitch / Laurant Misery / Jeffrey Karp / Sanja Kezic)
  • Selected Poster Presentations
    (David Moore, Marek Haftek)
  • Tools and Technologies
    (Nicole Brogden, Reinhard H. Neubert / Yasmine Belkaid / John Newsam / Pankaj Karande / Joke Bouwstra)
  • Follicular Disorders
    (Gerald Kasting, Gopinathan Menon / Claus-Michael Lehr / Dilip Paithankar / Juergen Lademann)
  • Power Hour
    (Eva Benfeldt)
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