Research: George W. Agak Laboratory at UCLA

Our research focuses on the molecular events that induce immune responses to skin bacteria. We are particularly interested in understanding how the immune system detects Cutibacterium acnes, and how it responds when there is dysbiosis within the skin microbiome. To dissect the mechanistic details of innate and adaptive immunity, we use all tools of modern research including high-throughput technologies to define the immune landscape of both healthy and diseased skin tissues as well as the metagenomic analysis of the skin microbiome. We also use high-affinity capture of macromolecular complexes (cellular interactomes) coupled with high-affinity mass spectrometry-based proteomics to characterize interactions between skin bacteria and immune cells.

The Agak Lab has extensive collaborators at UCLA, around the country and overseas and is deeply involved in translational studies moving research from the bench to the bedside with the goal of developing novel therapies and probiotics for skin diseases.

George Agak Lab: About PI

Dr. Agak is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Dermatology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He is a member of the I3T theme at UCLA. Dr. Agak earned his Bachelor of Science in biology (first class honors) from the University of Nairobi. He was awarded the prestigious Chevening and Leverhulme scholarships to attend the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine where he obtained his Master of Science degree in Immunology.

For his graduate work, he trained under Dr. Giampiertro Corradin at the University of Lausanne, studying immunology of malaria and malaria vaccine development. Dr. Agak joined UCLA and trained under Dr. Jenny Kim and completed his postdoctoral training in the Division of Dermatology studying acne immunology.

In 2017, Dr. Agak joined faculty of the Division of Dermatology/Department of Medicine at UCLA, where his laboratory is located. Dr. Agak was a recipient of an NIH K award. The Agak Lab is currently funded by grants from the NIH (NIAMS R01 and P50).

When not working at the UCLA, Dr. Agak gives his time and energy to charity-related causes both locally and internationally. He is the founder of the "Agak Foundation" ( an educational charity organization that pays high school tuition and provides academic support to orphans in remote regions of rural Kenya. His charity currently supports over 160 orphans annually.

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