Member Biography

Dan Spandau, Ph.D.

975 W. Walnut St.
IB 349
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Phone: (317) 274-7115
Fax: (317) 278-2815

Research Program Membership

Full member

Associate Research Professor of Dermatology
Department of Dermatology
IU School of Medicine

Associate Research Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
IU School of Medicine

Although skin cancer can occur at any age, there is a strong correlation between the development of skin cancer and advancing age. Recent in vitro, in vivo, and epidemiological data suggests that alterations in the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) signaling network influence aging-associated photocarcinogenesis. Using normal human keratinocytes grown in vitro, activated IGF-1Rs protect keratinocytes from UVB-induced apoptosis; however, while UVB-irradiated keratinocytes with activated IGF-1Rs survive, they are incapable of further cellular replication, in fact they are senescent. The critically important observation was that in the absence of IGF-1R activation, keratinocytes are more sensitive to UVB-induced apoptosis, but the keratinocytes that do survive retain the capacity to proliferate. In the skin, dermal fibroblasts support the proliferation of keratinocytes in the epidermis by secreting IGF-1. Interestingly, as dermal fibroblasts age, their capacity to produce IGF-1 is severely diminished. We have demonstrated that geriatric skin responds to UVB irradiation in a manner that could lead to initiated carcinogenic keratinocytes. This inappropriate UVB response can be corrected by treatment with exogenous IGF-1. Furthermore, we have shown that treatment of geriatric skin with ablative dermal rejuvenation therapies can re-establish youthful IGF-1 levels and subsequently reinstate the appropriate UVB response on sun-protected skin.

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Post-doctoral Fellowship - Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN 1990

Ph.D. - Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN 1987

M.S. - Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN 1986