Skin is the human body’s second-largest organ in surface area, second only to the intestines. The skin itself is colonised by a vast and diverse selection of bacteria, fungi, and viruses and are collectively referred to as the human skin microbiome. Mostly harmless, these microbes are crucial to our skin and overall health. Disruption of the skin microbiome leads to various clinical conditions such as dandruff, eczema, and psoriasis.
Microbiome diversity varies among different demographic populations depending on climate, genetics, and diet. Currently, most skin microbiome research is focused on North American and Western European populations, while knowledge about Asian skin and its microbiome is minimal. Research on the Asian skin microbiome paves the way to explore novel therapeutics that enables better treatment options and improved skin health.
The Asian Skin Microbiome Programme (ASMP) is jointly led by the A*STAR Skin Research Labs (A*SRL) and Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS). This programme brings together scientists, industry partners, and clinicians to investigate the Asian skin microbiome. We hope to unravel deeper insights into skin disorders in the purview of the skin microbiome. ASMP scientists are developing novel methodologies for measuring skin metabolites, identifying Asian-specific fungal resistance mechanisms, and validating metatranscriptomics technologies. This overarching microbial-based approach will enable therapeutics for skin disorders to improve skin health.