Curriculum & Course Descriptions


BS7013 Skin Biology: Theory and Practices

Course Coordinator: Associate Professor GAO Yonggui   (email:

Availability: Semester 2

The skin is a fascinating organ that encapsulates the human that all of us are intimately aware of. This skin is an important interface between the internal human body and the external environment and acts as a barrier against the stresses from outside world.

Due to its high visibility and ease of access, it is important to gain a good understanding of skin biology and its diseases. Understanding skin biology will help us develop insights into numerous fields such as cancer, wound healing, development, aging, immunology and stem cells. The importance of this field is well recognized by academia and industry alike, wh​ich is why Singapore is now seeing a rapid growth in research focus and funding for skin science.

This one-week intensive immersion course will introduce skin biology to postgraduate students at an advanced level. The course aims to equip the students with the background knowledge and practical skills to carry out independent research. The lecture topics range widely from organization and development of skin, to skin pathology, wound healing and stem cells. The laboratory practical classes focus on basic essential tools for skin biology research, from isolation and culture of primary skin cells and 3D culture, as well as useful immunohistological techniques.

After successful completion of this course the student will be able to: 

1.     Describe the unique physiology, anatomy and histology of the skin;

2.     Be able to recognize and cultivate different skin cell types in tissue culture;

3.     Have an appreciation of how disease manifests in the skin;

4.     Plan experiments to assess the role of cellular constituents and interpret experimental results;

5.     Understand how changes in a cell component affects cellular physiology and causes disease.