JEREMY PULLICINO | Protecting your skin

Updated: Dec 31, 2021




​​Meet Jeremy

Following graduating I proceeded to read for a PhD in Physiology and Biochemistry, which I am currently working towards. I have chosen this path, as my life has been centred by the need to know more and the desire to be of benefit to those around me. In science I found a mode to satisfy this curiosity, through creation of knowledge that could lead to discoveries which I hope could change the world for the better.


Protecting your skin

My work focuses on studying the effectiveness of the local prickly pear (Opuntia ficus-indica), specifically an extract from this plant, as a way of providing protection against the damage caused by various stressors, namely, ultraviolet irradiation, heat stress and oxidative stress. These stressors may result in numerous deleterious effects on the human body, including but not limited to, sunburn, photoaging, pigmentation and photo-carcinogenesis. The aim of my work is to provide a possible defence against these stressors and thus prevent these negative effects using this prickly pear extract. To study the effect of the extract, a cell culture model is being used comprising of human dermal fibroblasts, a type of skin cell. These cells are being exposed to the stressors in the presence/absence of the extract to observe the effect, following by further in-depth studies to understand the intracellular changes caused by the extract which has been observed to be protective.


The Next step…

Currently my aim is to conclude my PhD studies and understand the protective effect of the prickly pear extract. However, it is my hope that further research could be carried out to identify the active agent/s within the extract and observe if the effect could be replicated on different models perhaps on a path for clinical use.

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