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Amanda S MacLeod, MD

Assistant Professor in Dermatology

The new lab website can be found here:

If you are interested in joining our laboratory, please contact Amanda MacLeod (

Our lab investigates surveillance and repair functions in the skin. Within this broad research area, we focus on immune regulation and modulation during skin injury, infection, and cancer.

Skin is an active immune organ and comprises not only keratinocytes, but also harbors tissue-resident T cells, dendritic cells, macrophages and other immune cells. This interplay of innate and adaptive immune cells facilitates surveillance and repair functions in the skin under homeostatic and challenged conditions.

I. Immune regulation and modulation during skin injury and infection

Damage to the skin through physical injury and microbes initiates release of multiple pro-inflammatory cytokines and mediators including IL-17, extracellular ATP, nucleic acids, NO, as well as antimicrobial peptides and proteins. Upon skin injury, inflammatory immune responses are aimed at clearing microbial contaminations before a repair program can subsequently facilitate wound closure. However, prolonged inflammation is detrimental and mediates tissue damage and is considered a major pathogenic factor for the development of chronic non-healing wounds and may be a trigger for auto-inflammatory skin diseases such as psoriasis. Therefore, fine regulation of the cutaneous immune response is critical to maintain skin barrier function and protection upon injury and infection. The focus of our laboratory is on identifying and characterizing such key factors that regulate innate and adaptive immunity in the skin. We use interdisciplinary approaches, including molecular and cellular biology approaches, human and murine wound, infection and inflammation model systems to study how host factors drive skin barrier immunity.

II. Mechanisms of immune escape in human squamous cell carcinoma

Despite an existing complex network of immune surveillance mechanisms in human skin, cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is one of the most prevalent cancers in humans. Excessive UV exposure, several chemicals (incurred by tobacco use or during military service), immunosuppression (upon organ transplantation) as well as chronic non-healing wounds are major risk factors for SCC. Our goal is to define immune surveillance and escape mechanisms present in the human SCC microenvironment to ultimately identify novel targets for immunotherapy. In particular, we are interested in the role of skin-resident T cell and DC/macrophage function and our goal is to understand how SCC hijacks immune cell-mediated danger signals and effector molecules to shut off protective immunity. Furthermore, we seek to understand the underlying mechanisms of how immunosuppressive treatments used in transplant organ patients selectively alter skin immunity to promote immune tolerance. A combination of genome-wide interrogation of gene expression in different SCC patient populations, and use of knockout mouse models and human primary cells and tissues will dissect the contribution of key molecules in skin immune function and escape.

III. Development of non-invasive skin disease detection assays

In collaborative efforts with the Duke Center for Genomic and Computational Biology, Integrative Genomic Analysis Shared Resource, and the Duke Dermatology Clinic we aim to identify skin-disease specific biomarker features that allow the development of non-invasive disease detection assays. Such approach of diagnosing skin diseases is of extremely high clinical and translational value.

Complete List of Published Work can be found here:

Her maiden name Büchau was used prior to MacLeod.

Education and Training

  • M.D., Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (Germany), 2005

Selected Publications

MacLeod, AS, and Mansbridge, JN. "The Innate Immune System in Acute and Chronic Wounds." Advances in wound care 5, no. 2 (February 2016): 65-78. (Review)


MacLeod, AS, Rudolph, R, Corriden, R, Ye, I, Garijo, O, and Havran, WL. "Skin-resident T cells sense ultraviolet radiation-induced injury and contribute to DNA repair." Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950) 192, no. 12 (June 2014): 5695-5702.

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Nielsen, MM, Lovato, P, MacLeod, AS, Witherden, DA, Skov, L, Dyring-Andersen, B, Dabelsteen, S, Woetmann, A, Ødum, N, Havran, WL, Geisler, C, and Bonefeld, CM. "IL-1β-dependent activation of dendritic epidermal T cells in contact hypersensitivity." Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950) 192, no. 7 (April 2014): 2975-2983.

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Grover, RK, Zhu, X, Nieusma, T, Jones, T, Boero, I, MacLeod, AS, Mark, A, Niessen, S, Kim, HJ, Kong, L, Assad-Garcia, N, Kwon, K, Chesi, M, Smider, VV, Salomon, DR, Jelinek, DF, Kyle, RA, Pyles, RB, Glass, JI, Ward, AB, Wilson, IA, and Lerner, RA. "A Structurally Distinct Human Mycoplasma Protein that Generically Blocks Antigen-Antibody Union." Science 343, no. 6171 (February 7, 2014): 656-661.

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MacLeod, AS, Hemmers, S, Garijo, O, Chabod, M, Mowen, K, Witherden, DA, and Havran, WL. "Dendritic epidermal T cells regulate skin antimicrobial barrier function." The Journal of clinical investigation 123, no. 10 (October 2013): 4364-4374.

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Antsiferova, M, Huber, M, Meyer, M, Piwko-Czuchra, A, Ramadan, T, MacLeod, AS, Havran, WL, Dummer, R, Hohl, D, and Werner, S. "Activin enhances skin tumourigenesis and malignant progression by inducing a pro-tumourigenic immune cell response." Nature communications 2 (December 6, 2011): 576-.

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Macleod, AS, and Havran, WL. "Functions of skin-resident γδ T cells." Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS 68, no. 14 (July 2011): 2399-2408. (Review)

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Bekou, V, Büchau, A, Flaig, MJ, Ruzicka, T, and Hogardt, M. "Cutaneous infection by Mycobacterium haemophilum and kansasii in an IgA-deficient man." BMC dermatology 11 (January 26, 2011): 3-.

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Büchau, AS. "EGFR (trans)activation mediates IL-8 and distinct human antimicrobial peptide and protein production following skin injury." The Journal of investigative dermatology 130, no. 4 (April 2010): 929-932.

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Büchau, AS, Morizane, S, Trowbridge, J, Schauber, J, Kotol, P, Bui, JD, and Gallo, RL. "The host defense peptide cathelicidin is required for NK cell-mediated suppression of tumor growth." Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950) 184, no. 1 (January 2010): 369-378.

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Büchau, AS, MacLeod, DT, Morizane, S, Kotol, PF, Hata, T, and Gallo, RL. "Bcl-3 acts as an innate immune modulator by controlling antimicrobial responses in keratinocytes." The Journal of investigative dermatology 129, no. 9 (September 2009): 2148-2155.

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Peric, M, Koglin, S, Dombrowski, Y, Gross, K, Bradac, E, Büchau, A, Steinmeyer, A, Zügel, U, Ruzicka, T, and Schauber, J. "Vitamin D analogs differentially control antimicrobial peptide/"alarmin" expression in psoriasis." PloS one 4, no. 7 (January 2009): e6340-.

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Büchau, AS, Schauber, J, Hultsch, T, Stuetz, A, and Gallo, RL. "Pimecrolimus enhances TLR2/6-induced expression of antimicrobial peptides in keratinocytes." The Journal of investigative dermatology 128, no. 11 (November 2008): 2646-2654.

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Schauber, J, Oda, Y, Büchau, AS, Yun, Q-C, Steinmeyer, A, Zügel, U, Bikle, DD, and Gallo, RL. "Histone acetylation in keratinocytes enables control of the expression of cathelicidin and CD14 by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3." The Journal of investigative dermatology 128, no. 4 (April 2008): 816-824.

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Büchau, AS, and Gallo, RL. "Innate immunity and antimicrobial defense systems in psoriasis." Clinics in dermatology 25, no. 6 (November 2007): 616-624. (Review)

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