Tamia A. Harris-Tryon, MD, PhD
Photo: Tamia A. Harris-Tryon

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Elected 2024

Tamia A. Harris-Tryon, MD, PhD, is a physician-scientist at UT Southwestern and principal investigator of the Harris-Tryon lab. She earned her MD and PhD at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and completed a residency in Dermatology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Certified by the American Board of Dermatology, she joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2014 and began postdoctoral training in the HHMI lab of Lora Hooper. In her postdoctoral work,  she made use of a unique model system- germ free mice. Through use of this system, her data showed that the protein RELMα is bactericidal in skin, and that vitamin A impacts the expression of RELMα (Cell Host & Microbe 2019). Since starting her own lab in 2018, Dr. Harris-Tryon has created a unique research platform bridging the fields of immunology, microbiology, and metabolism, with a focus on the interface between the skin surface and the community of microbes that colonize the skin niche. Her lab is particularly interested in the study of sebaceous glands – specialized epithelial structures that generate an oily mixture of lipids and proteins, called sebum. In addition to producing sebum, sebaceous glands secrete antimicrobial proteins that limit colonization of the skin by bacteria. They also secrete steroid hormones and lipids that have direct impact on the microbes present at the skin surface. Through basic research, her lab aims to unlock how diet and the immune system alter skin epithelial biology and the impact of these changes on the microbiome. Ultimately, her goal is to translate discoveries from the bench into new therapies for individuals with inflammatory skin diseases. Her work is supported by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. She is prior recipient of the ASCI, Young Physician Scientist Award and an American Academy of Dermatology Young Investigator Award.

@HarrisTryonLab