Sweat gland is the most abundant glands in human skin and crucial for body heat dissipation as the sweat evaporates from the skin surface. Inability to sweat and to cool down body temperature can lead to hyperthermia, stroke, and death. While mice have sweat glands restricted to the pad of their foot skin, humans have evolved to have eccrine sweat glands distributed throughout the skin surface. Our lab studies the genetics and biology of sweat glands.
We are currently investigating the molecular mechanisms governing the fate specification of the sweat glands during skin development, as well as the signaling and mechanical environment that shape sweat gland morphogenesis. We are also interested in the innervation of the sweat gland – How neuronal signals instruct sweat gland development and function? How glandular cells recruit nerves during development to form a functional unit? A better understanding of the sweat gland development will provide insights into glandular biology and regenerative medicine and ultimately benefit patients with sweating deficiency.