Tiffany Scharschmidt, MD

Associate 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 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 define cell populations and host pathways that facilitate immune tolerance and long term homeostasis with skin bacteria. In parallel, we seek to understand specific bacterial-derived molecules that influence these processes. We are particularly interested in host-microbiome interactions and mechanisms unique to the early life window. Our approaches include use of both sophisticated murine models and unique human skin explant models to dissect these processes.

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    



Commensal myeloid crosstalk in neonatal skin regulates long-term cutaneous type 17 inflammation.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology

Dhariwala MO, DeRogatis AM, Okoro JN, Weckel A, Tran VM, Habrylo I, Ojewumi OT, Tammen AE, Leech JM, Merana GR, Carale RO, Barrere-Cain R, Hiam-Galvez KJ, Spitzer MH, Scharschmidt TC

LB1714 Increased epidermal penetration in aged skin modulates systemic inflammation.

Journal of Investigative Dermatology

A. Celli, M. Man, J. Gonzalez, T. Parenteau, J.M. Meyer, P. Elias, K. Abuabara, C. Grunfeld, T.C. Scharschmidt, T. Mauro

Long-term tolerance to skin commensals is established neonatally through a specialized dendritic cell subgroup.


Weckel A, Dhariwala MO, Ly K, Tran VM, Ojewumi OT, Riggs JB, Gonzalez JR, Dwyer LR, Okoro JN, Leech JM, Bacino MS, Cho GD, Merana G, Anandasabapathy N, Kumamoto Y, Scharschmidt TC

FLG Deficiency in Mice Alters the Early-Life CD4+ T-Cell Response to Skin Commensal Bacteria.

The Journal of investigative dermatology

Gonzalez JR, Celli A, Weckel A, Dhariwala MO, Merana GR, Ojewumi OT, Okoro J, Dwyer LR, Tran VM, Meyer JM, Mauro TM, Scharschmidt TC

The best offense is a good beta-defensin.


Dhariwala MO, Scharschmidt TC