Skip to main content

Skin Tissue Engineering & Morphology Core

The Skin Tissue Engineering & Morphology (STEM) Core is led by director Kathleen J. Green, PhD, and co-directed by Bethany E. Perez-White, PhD. STEM Core facilitates fundamental research in skin biology by providing technological expertise and resources to support the culture of normal human and mouse epidermal keratinocytes, primary melanocyte and dermal fibroblast cultures, as well as co-cultured skin cell 3D models. The core helps foster new collaborations among groups with the common goal of understanding the biology of skin.


Ordering is done through NU Core and cost information is available via our core price sheet.

Human Epidermal Keratinocytes

The STEM Core provides a reliable source of human epidermal keratinocytes isolated from individual or pooled neonatal foreskin and adult non-diseased and diseased tissue. Cells are supplied at a low passage number in either low calcium/serum-free culture medium, a fibroblast-feeder layer culture system, or frozen vials.

Human Epidermal Keratinocytes from Patients with Skin Disease

On a case-by-case basis, the core isolates and amplifies human keratinocytes from biopsies of adults, including patients diagnosed with various skin diseases. The availability depends on consent to biopsy; utilization of the disease-specific keratinocytes for research requires IRB-approval. Cells are supplied at a low passage number on a fibroblast-feeder layer culture system or as frozen vials. Limited numbers of frozen ampoules generated from previously acquired patient material with certain diseases may be available on request.

Human Dermal Fibroblasts

Human dermal fibroblasts are isolated from individual or pooled, neonatal foreskin and adult non-diseased and diseased tissue. Cells are provided at a low passage number in either culture medium or frozen vials.

Human Melanocytes

Human melanocytes are isolated from neonatal foreskin and provided at a low passage number in a commercial, serum-free culture medium system.

Murine Epidermal Keratinocytes

Keratinocytes isolated from the skin or tail of newborn and adult control and genetically modified mice are supplied as short- or long-term cultures in either low calcium/serum-free culture media or frozen vials.

3D Skin and Epidermis Raft Cultures

The STEM Core provides service, training and supplies necessary for generation of 3D cultures of human skin and epidermis. These cultures are formed by plating primary control or disease keratinocytes on a collagen hydrogel embedded with primary or immortalized fibroblasts and lifted to the air-liquid interface. Upon request, primary human melanocytes or melanoma cell lines can be co-cultured in the 3D raft models.

Immortalization of Human Epidermal Keratinocytes

Primary keratinocytes are immortalized using the HPV elements of the herpes simplex virus, HPV-16, and can be supplied in either culture media or frozen vials. In addition, keratinocyte lifespan can be extended by pharmacological inhibition of Rho-ROCK signaling for cultures maintained on a fibroblast feeder layer system.


The STEM Core provides training for the isolation of keratinocytes, fibroblasts, and melanocytes from human skin tissue; isolation of keratinocytes and fibroblasts from murine tissue; and the generation and maintenance of 3D skin cultures.

Core Leadership

Kathleen J. Green, PhD
STEM Core Director
Joseph L. Mayberry, Sr., Professor of Pathology and Toxicology
Professor of Pathology and Dermatology

Bethany E. Perez-White, PhD
Associate STEM Core Director
Assistant Professor of Dermatology
Ward 9-321

STEM Core Staff

Hallie Rebecca Goldstein
Research Technologist 2

Korvell Russell
Research Technologist 2

Madeline Juarez

Contact Us

For more information, please reach out to Bethany Perez White.