Day 1 :
Lada Rasochova PhD MBA is the CEO of Dermala Inc., a spinout from the University of California in San Diego (UC San Diego), and executive director and the California Institute for Innovation and Development and faculty member at UC San Diego. She obtained her PhD in molecular, cellular and developmental biology from Iowa State University and completed postdoctoral studies in virology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She has 25 years of experience from pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry in developing therapeutics, vaccines, anti-microbial, and microbial production systems for pharmaceutical applications.
Acne is one of the most common skin diseases. It affects up to 85% of individuals worldwide, mainly as adolescents, young adults, and older women. There are four main factors that are thought to contribute to acne: increased sebum production, follicular hyperkeratinization, colonization of follicles with Cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes), and inflammation. Despite years of acne research, no novel products have been brought to market in the past 60 years and currently available treatments suffer from significant drawbacks – lack of efficacy and side effects. They are mostly based on topical benzoyl peroxide, topical and oral antibiotics, and retinoids.
Human microbiome, the collection of all microbes on and in human bodies, represents an exciting new area of medical research. The research to date suggests that microbial dysbiosis in the gut and skin is linked to many chronic skin diseases. Restoring balance in the microbial ecosystem represents an opportunity to develop novel treatments against variety of skin disorders, including acne.
Our research and product development efforts at Dermala are focused on exploring bacterial competition in the skin microbiome, including the antagonism between C. acnes and S. epidermidis and screening, formulation, testing, and production of anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial metabolites (postbiotics) as new therapeutic candidates for the treatment of acne. We have shown that topical formulations of selected S. epidermidis postbiotics reduce the number, size and severity of acne lesions without side effects in human studies, inhibit the growth of C. acnes, and decrease C. acnes-mediated inflammation. In addition, we focus on exploring the gut-skin-brain axis in the microbiome that connects gastrointestinal and skin health and the role of prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics in reducing acne-associated inflammation and improving skin barrier function that translates into higher tolerability of topical acne treatments.
Senior Principal Scientist
David Gan, is a Senior Principal Scientist with Mary Kay's Research & Development leading the Skin and Clinical Research team. David received his Bachelor's of Science from Beloit College WI, and Masters of Science from St John’s University, NY. David joined Mary Kay in 2005, and leads the Skin Technology team responsible for identifying innovative technology to provide skin benefits in Mary Kay products. With over 21 years of experience in skin science research, David has over 50 invention patents globally, which support many different Mary Kay skin care products around the world.
Facial Erythema (redness) or Erythrosis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that is characterized by aberrations in immunological responses and cutaneous vasculature. Pathophysiological changes include elevated expression of cytokines, chemokines, impaired skin barrier function, vasodilation of blood vessels and increased blood flow. Elevated levels of Nitric Oxide (NO), a key regulator in vasodilation of blood vessels, pro- inflammatory cytokines and chemokines has been shown in individuals with persistent redness. Currently, there are very few cosmetic formulations available that effectively treat facial redness. Here, we identified four botanical extracts that reduced the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines and Nitric Oxide Synthase; an enzyme that catalyzes the production of nitric oxide (NO) in cultured normal human epidermal keratinocytes (HEKa) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). Twenty-two (22) subjects with persistent facial erythema were enrolled in a proof of concept clinical study to measure the effects of a cosmetic formulation containing these extracts on facial redness in vivo. Subjects applied the cosmetic formulation twice daily over 4 weeks. Skin temperature values, indicator of skin microcirculation, was measured by infrared thermography, Visual assessment of redness and digital images were captured at baseline, weeks 2 and 4 after product use. Evaluations from clinical grading revealed a significant reduction in overall facial redness after 4 weeks. In addition, infrared thermograph image analysis showed a significant reduction in skin temperature compared to baseline that correlated with facial redness. These data demonstrate that our cosmetic formulation effectively treated facial erythema with improvements in overall reduction of redness and skin temperature.