Finding new, more effective treatments for the chronic autoimmune skin disease psoriasis is a research interest for Dr Vidya Krishnan, who joined the Perron Institute in 2020 as a postdoctoral scientist.  

Dr Krishnan is working with Professor Sulev Koks, head of Epidemiology Research at Perron Institute and the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Innovative Therapeutics at Murdoch University.  

Professor Koks has published several research papers on psoriasis, a long term inflammatory skin condition with symptoms that include red scaly patches, itchiness and flaking. 

“The etiology of psoriasis is complex and driven primarily by an atypical immune response to various genetic and environmental factors,” Dr Krishnan said. 

“In looking for therapeutic options, one of our aims is to explore the potential for a drug using antisense oligonucleotide (AO) technology. 

“We are targeting the molecules involved in abnormal skin proliferation and the development of psoriasis to see whether antisense therapies developed by Professors Steve Wilton and Sue Fletcher (Perron Institute and CMMIT) and their team could be applied.  

“Based on previous research, we have identified and prioritised the highly specific targets which modulate the increase in keratinocytes one of the primary cells in the outer layer of the skin (epidermis).”    

Before joining Professor Koks’ group, Dr Krishnan was working with Emeritus Professors Miranda Grounds and Alan Harvey at UWA, as well as Perron Institute researchers Professor Lindy Fitzgerald (Perron Institute and Curtin University) and Associate Professor Stuart Hodgetts (head of Spinal Cord Repair Research at UWA and Perron Institute). 

For her PhD, completed at UWA in 2017, Dr Krishnan studied the role of the peripheral and central nervous system in age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass and function.  

Dr Krishnan has published research papers and has presented her doctoral research at several conferences across Australia. 

After completing her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Biotechnology in India, she has also worked in several research organisations including Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology in Kerala, a research and development institute in the Government of India’s Department of Science of Technology.