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Dr. John Harris lecture

Upcoming Lecture

Dr. John Harris

OCTOBER 22, 26, and 29, 2020

All events held via Zoom Webinar, link below.

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Thursday, October 22 "Vitiligo: Journey to Understand and Treat a Skin Disease"
4:30–5:30 p.m. https://gordon.zoom.us/j/97997834702

Monday, October 26 "Fulfilling the Greatest Commandment with All Your Mind"
4:30–5:30 p.m. https://gordon.zoom.us/j/97997834702

Thursday, October 29 "Resilient Courage in Learning, Life, and Livelihood"
4:30–5:30 p.m. https://gordon.zoom.us/j/97997834702

Resources for visitors ➔


Dr. John Harris

Associate Professor in the Department of Dermatology
University of Massachusetts Medical School

John E. Harris, MD, PhD, is a tenured Associate Professor of Dermatology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) in Worcester, MA. He serves as Director of the Vitiligo Clinic and Research Center at UMMS, focusing both on the clinical management of vitiligo patients as well as research into new therapeutic strategies. His approach includes the seamless integration of basic, translational, and clinical studies that incorporate the use of mouse models, human tissues, and clinical trials that determine disease mechanisms of vitiligo, identify quantifiable markers of disease activity, and test new treatments. Dr. Harris is an alumnus of Gordon College, where he studied Biology with a Pre-Medicine concentration, graduating in 1998.

Previous work from his research team highlighted the central role that the IFN-g signaling pathway plays in both the progression and maintenance of vitiligo, and recent studies in both mice and humans have demonstrated efficacy of new immunotherapies that target this pathway. Early clinical trials in vitiligo using this strategy look promising, and more are being developed. Recent work from his lab revealed that targeting the IL-15 signaling pathway not only results in reversal of disease, but durable, long-lasting improvement. As a result of this work, Dr. Harris acquired Series A funding to further develop this approach as a new treatment for vitiligo and founded Villaris Therapeutics, whose entire focus is to develop an effective, long-lasting treatment for vitiligo.

Ongoing research seeks to better characterize the mechanism of action of these new treatments and to identify new targets in order to design an optimal therapeutic strategy for vitiligo patients, who currently have no FDA-approved treatment options. Long-term goals are to bring new treatments with better safety and efficacy into the clinic, to develop more durable, long-lasting therapies, and ultimately to find a cure for this psychologically devastating disease.

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