“For anything worth having one must pay the price; and the price is always work, patience, love, self-sacrifice;"
- John Burroughs
Contribution to Science
(1988-1992) Dr. Di Nardo's early publications addressed the fact that allergic skin reactions are difficult to standardize and to quantify. By providing evidence of, and quantification of the dermatological clinical readings, this body of work has changed the standards of evaluation for drug related modifications of skin reactions. Dr. Di Nardo served as the primary investigator or co-investigator in all of these studies.
(1992-2000) Dr. Di Nardo directly documented the importance of skin epidermal lipids in the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis and irritant contact dermatitis as part of a team of collaborators. These studies emphasized the role of ceramides in the etiology, the maintenance of skin dermatitis and the disruptive potential of destroying ceramides in the skin barrier. The paper "Ceramide and cholesterol composition of the skin of patients with atopic dermatitis" was awarded the Pierre Fabre award as the best publication of the year.
(2001- 2006) Human skin is permanently exposed to a wide variety of potential harmful microorganisms. Despite these microbial threats, skin is surprisingly highly resistant against infections. Over these five years, Dr. Di Nardo discovered that mast cells produce antimicrobial peptides. These antimicrobial peptides act as a first defense line, through their broad spectrum of potent antimicrobial activity.
(2006- present) Since joining the University of California San Diego as a faculty member, Dr. Di Nardo's research has been devoted to the study of skin antimicrobial peptides and their interaction with the cells of the skin's immune system. Dr. Di Nardo's independent lab work is on the role of Mast cells in the skin innate immune system and specifically in infections, rosacea and allergic reactions.