Richard Presland
Associate Professor
Department of Oral Biology
Adjunct, Division of Dermatology

Faculty Information


Dr. Richard Presland, associate professor in the Department of Oral Health Sciences, is an adjunct faculty member in the Division of Dermatology. His research focuses on Epithelial tissues, such as those that line the oral cavity and skin, function to protect animals from physical, chemical, and microbial attack, and desiccation. They are essential for survival. During keratinocyte differentiation, living cells undergo desquamation to form the dead, cornified cells at the epithelial surface. These “squames” comprise a major part of the epithelial barrier and are continuously being renewed. The lab’s research focuses in two areas important to this process: S100 calcium-binding proteins (including profilaggrin) that function in many calcium-dependent processes in cells; and caspase-14, an epithelial protease that is a member of the caspase family of cysteine endoproteases.  Using a variety of molecular and cellular methods, the lab studies the function of the profilaggrin N-terminus in keratinocyte differentiation. These include the yeast two-hybrid assay to examine protein-protein interactions in vivo, as well as gene expression in bacteria and cultured mammalian cells to study protein-protein interactions and protein function. Like profilaggrin, caspase-14 is also expressed in keratinizing epithelia late in keratinocyte differentiation. Recently, Dr. Presland’s lab determined the substrate specificity of recombinant caspase-14 expressed in E. coli. The precise function of caspase-14 in epidermis and other keratinizing epithelia is the subject of present investigation.


Education & Training: 
PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
University of Adelaide
North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia
M.S. (Honors) in Biochemistry
University of Otago
Dunedin, New Zealand
B.S. (Honors) in Biochemistry
University of Otago
Dunedin, New Zealand