The Hackney Dermatopathology Research Laboratory under the direction of Dr. Spandau conducts research into the origins of skin cancer. As non-melanoma skin cancer (specifically squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma) is predominately a disease of the elderly, we have become increasingly aware that biological age is an important risk factor for the development of skin cancer. Skin cells, or keratinocytes, are continually exposed to DNA-damaging ultraviolet radiation B (UVB) in sunlight. We have demonstrated that as keratinocytes age, they are less able to respond to the stress of UVB-irradiation. The inability of these aged keratinocytes to successfully control UVB-induced stress may contribute to the increased susceptibility of skin cancers. The goal of our laboratory is to define the mechanism by which aged keratinocytes fail to respond to UVB-irradiation and to link this aberrant response to the incidence of skin cancer in the elderly. Currently, there are several areas of research under investigation involving: IGF-1 receptor, EGF-receptors, aging and skin cancer.