Tiffany Scharschmidt, MD

Assistant Professor
Department of Dermatology
Research Overview: 

Maintaining healthy dialogue between our immune system and our commensal microbes is fundamental to human health. My lab studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms that mediate the adaptive immune response to commensal bacteria, with a focus on early life events and the skin as an important barrier tissue.

Colonization by commensal microbes, education of the adaptive immune system and establishment of immune tolerance to skin commensal bacteria all occur perinatally when the host-commensal relationship is first established. Dissecting mechanisms that promote a healthy adaptive immune response to skin commensals will inform our understanding of skin immune homeostasis and potentially identify new treatment opportunities for inflammatory skin conditions in which the host-commensal relationship is disrupted.

 Ongoing research in our group aims to:

  1. Define host pathways and immune cell populations that facilitate establishment of adaptive immune tolerance to skin commensals
  2. Identify commensal-derived molecules that influence the development and function of adaptive immune cell populations in the skin
  3. Elucidate how skin-specific structures, such as hair follicles, and the integrity of the skin barrier influence host-commensal dialogue in this tissue

Our scientific approach capitalizes on genetic manipulation of skin commensal bacteria, transcriptional profiling of both host and microbial cells and in vivo models to dissect the antigen-specific immune response to skin commensal organisms.

Primary Thematic Area: 
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Virology & Microbial Pathogenesis
Research Summary: 
Immune mechanisms that support host-commensal symbiosis
Mentorship Development: 

11/23/20    Building Community in the UCSF MSTP 
2/16/21    Three Truths and Three Tries: Facing and Overcoming Critical Social Justice Challenges at the Micro, Mezzo, and Macro Levels    



Regulatory T cells promote innate inflammation after skin barrier breach via TGF-ß activation.

Science immunology

Moreau JM, Dhariwala MO, Gouirand V, Boda DP, Boothby IC, Lowe MM, Cohen JN, Macon CE, Leech JM, Kalekar LA, Scharschmidt TC, Rosenblum MD

Hair of the mouse: A skin bacteria "cocktail" gets follicles back on their feet.

Cell host & microbe

Gonzalez JR, Merana GR, Scharschmidt TC

Developing Human Skin Contains Lymphocytes Demonstrating a Memory Signature.

Cell reports. Medicine

Dhariwala MO, Karthikeyan D, Vasquez KS, Farhat S, Weckel A, Taravati K, Leitner EG, Clancy S, Pauli M, Piper ML, Cohen JN, Ashouri JF, Lowe MM, Rosenblum MD, Scharschmidt TC

Atlas of atopic dermatitis.

The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology

Boothby IC, Gonzalez JR, Scharschmidt TC