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Micheline M. Mathews-Roth, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School

Associate Physician
Brigham and Women's Hospital

Research Interests

Dr. Mathews-Roth performs basic science and clinical research in photobiology.

Her clinical studies focus on developing photo-protective treatments for the orphan disease, erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP), and other human photosenstivity diseases. She is studying beta-carotene and the amino acid cysteine as photoprotective agents in EPP. She is also developing gene therapy methods for EPP.

Dr. Mathews-Roth has organized the Erythropoietic Protopophyria Research and Education Fund as a support group for EPP patients and their families. She also acts as a consultant on the treatment of EPP, and is on the scientific advisory board of the American Porphyria Foundation. She is available to advise patients and their physicians about the light-sensitive porphyrias, and the medical uses of beta-carotene and other carotenoid pigments.

Her basic science studies concern: 1) the molecular biology of EPP, including gene therapy studies; 2) carotenoid molecule (as opposed to vitamin A) photoprotective and other functions in the bacteria which contain carotenoids, as well as mammilian cells supplemented with them; and 3) the genetics of pigment formation in the non-photosynthetic carotenoid-containing bacteria.

Research Interests

Mathews-Roth MM, Pathak MA, Fitzpatrick TB, Harber LC, Kass EH. Beta-carotene as a photoprotective agent in erythropoeitic protoporphyria. N Engl J Med. 1970 May 28;282(22):1231-4. No abstract available.

Mathews-Roth MM, Pathak MA. Phytoene as a protective agent against sunburn (greater than 280 nm) radiation in guinea pigs. Photochem Photobiol. 1975 Apr;21(4):261-3. No abstract available.

Mathews-Roth MM. Antitumor activity of beta-carotene, canthaxanthin and phytoene. Oncology. 1982;39(1):33-7. [abstract]

Mathews-Roth MM. Carotenoid pigment administration and delay in development of UV-B-induced tumors. Photochem Photobiol. 1983 May;37(5):509-11. No abstract available.

Mathews-Roth MM, Krinsky NI. Carotenoids affect development of UV-B-induced skin cancer. Photochem Photobiol. 1987 Oct;46(4):507-9. No abstract available.

Mathews-Roth MM, Drouin GL, Duffy L. Isolation of human ferrochelatase. Arch Dermatol. 1987 Apr;123(4):429-30. No abstract available.

Mathews-Roth MM. Lack of genotoxicity with beta-carotene. Toxicol Lett. 1988 Jun;41(3):185-91. Review. [abstract]

Mathews-Roth MM. Plasma concentrations of carotenoids after large doses of beta-carotene. Am J Clin Nutr. 1990 Sep;52(3):500-1. [abstract]

Mathews-Roth MM. Carotenoids in erythropoietic protoporphyria and other photosensitivity diseases. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1993 Dec 31;691:127-38. Review. [abstract]

Mathews-Roth MM, Rosner B, Benfell K, Roberts JE. A double-blind study of cysteine photoprotection in erythropoietic protoporphyria. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 1994 Dec;10(6):244-8. [abstract]

Mathews-Roth MM, Michel JL, Wise RJ. Amelioration of the metabolic defect in erythropoietic protoporphyria by expression of human ferrochelatase in cultured cells. J Invest Dermatol. 1995 Apr;104(4):497-9. [abstract]

Mathews-Roth MM, Wise RJ, Miller BA. Burst-forming units-erythroid from erythropoietic protoporphyria patients fluoresce unf 405nm light. Blood. 1996 May 15;87(10):4480-1. No abstract available.

Mathews-Roth MM. Erythropoietic protoporphyria. Br J Dermatol. 1996 May;134(5):977. No abstract available.

Pawliuk R, Bachelot T, Wise RJ, Mathews-Roth MM, Leboulch P. Long-term cure of the photosensitivity of murine erythropoeitic protoporphyria by preselective gene therapy. Nat Med. 1999 Jul;5(7):768-73. [abstract]

Pawliuk R, Tighe R, Wise RJ, Mathews-Roth MM, Leboulch P. Prevention of murine erythropoietic protoporphyria-associated skin photosensitivity and liver disease by dermal and hepatic ferrochelatase. J Invest Dermatol. 2005 Jan;124(1):256-62. [abstract]