Projects

Workpackages

Chronic non-healing skin ulcers, excessively scarring wounds, inflammatory skin diseases, and skin cancer are very common pathologies associated with excessive/chronic inflammation. Unfortunately, the therapeutic options are still limited and morbidity/mortality remains high. Remarkably, crucial pathogenic mechanisms of these three groups of skin diseases overlap, making their combined analysis highly promising. SKINTEGRITY.CH brings together major experts in basic and clinical research, (bio)engineering and bioinformatics from different institutions. This permits the implementation of an interdisciplinary approach to tackle major medical problems. Through analysis of the molecular, cellular and biophysical mechanisms responsible for abnormal inflammation and associated pathologies, we aim to identify the driving factors for wound healing disorders and inflammatory and malignant skin diseases as well as novel targets for therapeutic intervention. This will allow the development of novel devices and drugs for the treatment of these disorders and of strategies for their improved diagnosis.

Specifically, the scientific plans include (i) identification and functional characterization of biochemical and biophysical factors and of different cell types that control normal and impaired wound healing, (ii) development of delivery strategies and of mechanical devices for the treatment of impaired wound healing and prevention of scar formation, (iii) analysis of the role of the microbiome in inflammatory skin disease, (iv) analysis of the role of different T cell subsets in inflammatory skin disease and skin cancer, (v) characterization of the role of epigenetic alterations in inflammatory skin disease and skin cancer, use of single cell technologies to understand cancer development and progression and response to major cancer drugs, development of novel strategies for personalized cancer treatment and – as a prerequisite for all projects – the continuation of the skin Biobank project and the development of in vitro generated skin equivalents and of biomaterials to study skin functions in health and disease.

 

Skin injury & repair (Work package 1)

(Main PIs are in bold)

WP1-1  Control of wound repair by environmental and mechanical cues
Prof. Edoardo Mazza, ETH Zurich; Prof. Sabine Werner, ETH Zurich

 

WP1-2  Perturbed homeostasis in fibroblasts from chronic wounds contributes to impaired wound healing
Prof. Jörn Dengjel, University of Fribourg; Prof. Jürg Hafner, University Hospital Zurich; Prof. Sabine Werner, ETH Zurich

 

WP1-3  Exosomes as powerful vehicles for drug and siRNA delivery to the wound site
Prof. Jean-Christophe Leroux, ETH Zurich; Prof. Nicole Lindenblatt, University Hospital Zurich; Prof. Sabine Werner, ETH Zurich

 

WP1-4  Functionalized synthetic collagen peptides for wound repair
Prof. Helma Wennemers, ETH Zurich; Prof. Jörn Dengjel, University of Fribourg; Prof. Edoardo Mazza, ETH Zurich; Prof. Sabine Werner, ETH Zurich

 

WP1-5  Mechanobiological factors influencing the production of skin substitutes
Prof. Edoardo Mazza, ETH Zurich; Prof. Ernst Reichmann, Children`s Hospital Zurich

 

WP1-6  In vivo imaging of wound repair
Prof. Daniel Razansky, University of Zurich and ETH Zurich; Prof. Michael Detmar, ETH Zurich; Prof. Sabine Werner, ETH Zurich

Inflammatory skin disease (Work package 2)

(Main PIs are in bold)

WP2-1  Targeting the epigenetic stromal cell memory in skin inflammation
Prof. Michael Detmar, ETH Zurich; Prof. Cornelia Halin, ETH Zurich; Prof. Alexander Navarini, University Hospital Basel

 

WP2-2  Immune and molecular mechanisms of adverse cutaneous cancer drug

Reactions
Prof. Bernd Bodenmiller, University Zurich; Prof. Reinhard Dummer, University Hospital Zurich; Prof. Burkhard Becher, University of Zurich

 

WP2-3  The role of PPARy in skin resident Th2 cells and other immune cells in allergic skin inflammation and wound healing
Prof. Christoph Schlapbach, Insel Hospital Bern; Prof. Manfred Kopf, ETH Zurich; Prof. Liliane Michalik, University of Lausanne

 

WP2-4  Autoreactive T cells, antimicrobial peptides and the skin microbiota in psoriasis
Prof. Michel Gilliet, University Hospital of Lausanne; Prof. Manfred Kopf, ETH Zurich

 

WP2-5  Immune responses to commensals and pathogens in skin homeostasis and inflammation
Prof. Federica Sallusto, ETH Zurich and IRB Bellinzona; Prof. Michel Gilliet, University Hospital Lausanne

 

WP2-6  The functional implication of nerve cells in skin fibrosis
Prof. Oliver Distler, University Hospital Zurich; Prof. Lukas Sommer, University of Zurich

 

WP2-7  Biomechanical quantification of skin fibrosis
Prof. Oliver Distler, University Hospital Zurich; Prof. Edoardo Mazza, ETH Zurich

Skin cancer (Work package 3)

(Main PIs are in bold)

WP3-1  An in vitro ”field-cancerization” model
Prof. Gian-Paolo Dotto, University of Lausanne; Prof. Niko Beerenwinkel, ETH Zurich

 

WP3-2  Role of lymphoid structures and lymphatic vessels in skin cancer
Prof. Cornelia Halin, ETH Zurich; Prof. Maries van den Broek, University of Zurich; Prof. Emmanuella Guenova, University Hospital Lausanne

 

WP3-3  CINDER: Cancer Immunotherapy in Dermatology
Prof. Burkhard Becher, University of Zurich; Prof. Manfred Claassen, University of Tubingen; Prof. Mitchell Levesque, University Hospital Zurich

 

WP3-4  Functional identification of melanoma neoantigens and their use for the development of personalized therapeutic vaccination regimens
Prof. Manfred Kopf, ETH Zurich; Prof. Reinhard Dummer, University Hospital Zurich

Platforms

(Main PIs are in bold)

P1        (Bio)Engineering approaches for generation of complex substitutes for normal and diseased skin
Prof. Mitchell Levesque, University of Zurich, Prof. Mirko Meboldt, ETH Zurich; Prof. Ernst Reichmann, Dr. Thomas Biedermann, Children`s Hospital Zurich; Prof. Mark Tibbitt, ETH Zurich  

 

P2        Skin Biobanking
Prof. Mitchell Levesque, University of Zurich; Prof. Jürg Hafner, University Hospital Zurich; Prof. Reinhard Dummer, University Hospital Zürich