Dr. Eric (Chun-Ming) Huang, PhD

Dr. Eric Huang is an Adjunct Professor of Medicine in the Department of Dermatology at UC San Diego. Dr. Huang's research has been focused on understanding the role of skin microbiome in the human diseases and developing new drugs and modalities including vaccines and drugs for treatments of skin diseases.


About the Huang Lab


(I)    Acne Vaccine Project

Acne vulgaris afflicts more than forty million people in the United State alone, and despite the multitude of the products on the market, there is still no effective treatment that can prevent and cure this disease. The severity of acne vulgaris is highly associated with the inflammatory response to Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), an opportunistic skin bacterium. The goal of our project is to educate the immune system of acne patients in order to allow their body to naturally control the growth of P. acnes. The approach has the potential to result in a long term cure of the disease.
Our approach is based on our discovery of a weak link in P. acnes that drives the disease. This molecule is known as the secretory Christie-Atkins-Munch-Peterson (CAMP) factor. Because of antigen masking, the body can not normally neutralize CAMP factor. Our laboratory has discovered a method to overcome this and has preliminary data that shows this can prevent inflammation caused by P. acnes in mice and in human acne tissues. We are validating this method and confirm the significance of CAMP factor as a driver of inflammation in humans. The approach will be translated into use for humans in the very near future.

(II)    Acne Probiotic Project

Like yogurt made by fermentation with friendly gut bacteria, we propose to develop acne probiotics that will cause the normal bacteria of the skin to antagonize the overgrowth of Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). This is a superior approach to the current use of antibiotics that destroy the friendly microbes and disrupt beneficial microbial ecosystems. This approach will also avoid the negative effect of antibiotics that induce antibiotic-resistance.

We have recently proven and published that the normal skin bacterium Staphylococcus epidermidis (S. epidermidis) can ferment sugars such as glycerol to produce molecules that kill P. acnes. This reaction has been confirmed in a test tube, in mice, and in actual live samples of skin from acne patients.  Our proposal will obtain better understanding of the chemistry, feasibility and safety of this approach in advance of clinical trials. Probiotic use of existing skin bacteria will be a novel, effective, and safer modality for treatment of acne vulgaris.


Huang Lab
Tel:858 822 4627

•    Department of Dermatology
•    UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center (www.cancerucsd.edu)

Principle Investigator

Eric Huang, PhD
Tel:858 822 4627