Table of contents
- Giuseppe Antoniazzi ★
- Matthew Aronoff
- Johannes Bader
- Cecilia Bazzini
- Nicole Bertschi
- Linus Boll
- Lorenz Brunner ★
- Blaž Burja
- Vahap Canbay
- Michael Cangkrama
- Yun-Tsan Chang
- Jing Chen
- Stéphanie Claudinot
- Xosé Luís Déan-Ben
- Michela Di Filippo
- Oksana Dudaryeva ★
- Vilius Dranseika
- Börte Emiroğlu ★
- Zheng Fan
- Danielle Fehr
- Laurence Feldmeyer
- Lorenza Garau Paganella
- Anastasia-Olga Gkountidi
- Marcel Gort
- Eduardo Gushiken-Ibañez
- Tobias Hammer
- Khanh Huynh
- Håvar Junker
- Jihye Kim ★
- Konstantinos Kolageropoulos
- Vadim Krivitsky
- Celine Labouesse
- Weiye Li
- Yu-Hang Liu
- Céline Lukowicz
- Xiang Ge Luo
- Fabian Luther
- Esther Martínez ★
- Anastasiya Martyts ★
- Yasutaka Mitamura
- Bettina Müller
- Nhan Thanh Nguyen
- Elena Pachera ★
- Jessica Polak
- Laura Poller
- Julia Puchan ★
- David Sachs ★
- Annalisa Saltari
- Catharina Sänger ★
- Stefanie Schärli
- Eliane Sibler
- Karīna Siliņa
- Ramon Stäger
- Salome Stierli ★
- Maša Stopinšek
- Aizhan Tastanova
- Yi-Chien Tsai
- Adam Wahlsten
- Kongchang Wei
- Mateusz Wietecha
- Nicola Winkelbeiner
- Till Wüstemann
- Lito Zambounis
- Reihane Ziadlou
★ Members of the organizing committee
Giuseppe Antoniazzi ★
Matt uses synthetic peptides and fluorescent chemical probes to monitor the lysyl oxidase (LOX)-mediated cross-linking of collagen and elastin during tissue development, repair and disease. This shall help to improve our understanding of collagen remodelling in disease pathogenesis, while also paving the way for the development of new diagnostics and therapeutics.
collagen, elastin, fluorescent imaging, lysyl oxidase, synthetic peptides
Johannes’s research focuses on the loading of nucleic acid drugs into stem cell-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs). The aim of the project is to find a suitable method, which would allow the entrapment of different RNA species inside EVs while preserving their unique wound healing properties. Such engineered nanocarriers could potentially ameliorate impaired wound healing processes.
drug delivery, extracellular vesicles, liposomes, wound healing
Cecilia’s studies aim to characterize the biological role of TH9 cells, also known as pathogenic TH2 cells, a recently described subset of proinflammatory effector TH2 cells. In particular, she studies the role of these cells in TH2-mediated skin disorders such as atopic dermatitis (AD) or allergic contact dermatitis (ACD).
allergic inflammation, pathogenic TH2 cells, type 2 immunity
Nicole investigates skin-homing pathogenic TH2 cells that participate in inflammatory and malignant skin diseases. Her research focus is to elucidate the function of autocrine and paracrine interleukin 9 (IL-9) in skin inflammation and to evaluate the potential of its therapeutic manipulation.
allergic contact dermatitis, immunology, inflammatory skin disease, interleukin 9 (IL-9), T-helper cells
Fibrotic diseases represent a major burden on global health. Linus develops molecules for the delivery of therapeutics to treat fibrotic conditions or assist wound healing, exploiting the activity of enzymes that are upregulated during tissue remodelling.
collagen, drug delivery, lysyl oxyidase, synthetic peptides
Lorenz Brunner ★
Blaž focuses on metabolic dysregulation in skin fibrosis, with a special interest in systemic sclerosis (SSc). He investigates the role of alpha-ketoglutarate as a new potential treatment strategy to halt myofibroblast activation and suppress fibrotic processes in different ex-vivo and in-vivo settings.
metabolism, myofibroblast, skin fibrosis, systemic sclerosis, transcriptomics
Vahap is studying the role of dermokine in keratinocyte differentiation using CRISPR/Cas9 technology and in vitro skin models. Coupled with advanced mass spectrometry methods, the findings can provide useful insights to extend our comprehension of the mechanisms involved in the epidermal differentiation process.
keratinocytes, proteomics, systems biology, proteolysis
An important aspect of Michael’s research is the analysis of the parallels between tissue repair and cancer at the molecular and cellular level, with a focus on the role of growth factors and matrisomes. In addition, he is currently developing new therapeutic strategies targeting the epithelial stromal crosstalk for the treatment of skin fibrosis and cancer.
activins, skin cancer, cancer-associated fibroblasts, tissue regeneration, matrisomes
Fibrosis is the final path of nearly every form of chronic disease, including skin fibrotic disease, and it is defined by the excessive accumulation of extracellular matrix produced by fibrogenic fibroblasts. Due to the lack of efficient anti-fibrotic therapies, fibrosis leads to lethal organ failure and mortality. Jing's research project aims to establish vaccination-based immunotherapy that can elicit an antigen-specific cytotoxic T cell response, specifically targeting fibrogenic progenitor cells to ameliorate fibrosis.
fibroblasts, fibrogenic progenitors, fibrosis degeneration, extracellular matrix, vaccine
Stéphanie works in collaboration with her colleagues in dissecting the role of PPAR-β in Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC). PPARs are nuclear hormone receptors, which have a role in keratinocyte proliferation, skin wound healing, and in keratinocyte response to inflammation and SCC development.
epithelial stem cells, culture, transplantation, cancer
Michela Di Filippo
Michela studies the role of the NLRP1 inflammasome, a protein complex of the innate immunity present in human keratinocytes, using a novel 3D model of human skin. This will provide insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying skin inflammation and skin cancer development.
keratinocyte, NLRP1 inflammasome, skin cancer, skin equivalent, skin inflammation
Oksana Dudaryeva ★
Oksana develops skin biomaterial models based on natural and synthetic polymers to study how cell function changes in response to altered external conditions. This knowledge will allow the design of innovative therapeutic strategies for various diseases.
hydrogels, synthetic skin models, myofibroblasts
Vilius studies wound healing and squamous cell carcinoma of the skin. He is particularly interested in glia cells (the cells surrounding and supporting peripheral neurons), which have been shown to have a crucial role in both of these processes.
glia, skin 3D model, squamous cell carcinoma, wound healing
Börte Emiroğlu ★
Börte’s project focuses on designing an immunomodulatory biomaterial for healing of chronic wounds. By engineering a modular and macroporous scaffold, this work aims to accelerate healing by facilitating in-growth of healthy cells and normalizing aberrant signaling through biomolecule release and inactivation.
biomaterial, modular, macroporous, wound healing
New blood vessel ingrowth in skin is critical for the survival of skin grafts and tissue-engineered skin substitutes, because abundant vascularization is an absolute requirement for skin homeostasis, regeneration, and wound healing. Zheng's research is aiming to understand how blood vessels grow in skin tissue and how endothelial cells (main cell types which form blood vessels) orchestrate with other cell types (e.g. fibroblast, immune cells, etc.) to ensure normal function of skin.
angiogenesis, endothelial cells, fibrosis, regeneration, tissue engineering
Danielle’s current research focuses on atopic dermatitis, a chronic inflammatory skin disease. She investigates differences between European and African patients concerning the immune response, the barrier function of the skin and associated allergies.
allergy, Africa, atopic dermatitis, immune signature, skin barrier
Lorenza Garau Paganella
Lorenza develops tuneable 3D culture systems for fibroblasts, allowing to investigate and modulate how different physical and chemical stimuli affect cell responses. The proposal integrates expertise in hydrogel design to mimic the in vivo environment of cells with advanced biomechanical characterization and modelling to provide insight into the physical mechanisms underlying skin function in health and disease.
hydrogels, materials, biomechanics, skin, 3D models
Olga studies the interaction of lymphatic vessels and migrating cells in various tumor models such as melanoma and cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL). Using various tumor mouse cell lines, transgenic mouse models and human samples, she studies the influence of the tumor microenvironment on tumor growth, cell activity and motility of migrating cells.
lymphatic vessels, migration, skin, tumor immunology
Silicone additive manufacturing has recently become available. Marcel explores how silicone additive manufacturing can be applied to develop soft material bioreactors with integrated functionalities to grow skin models. The aim is to simplify and enhance the robustness of skin model production by developing bioreactors with integrated actuation for extrinsic stimulation or perfusion of the skin models and to get closer to in-vivo conditions.
additive manufacturing, bioreactor, silicone, soft material, tissue engineering
Tobias studies the influence of the composition and organization of different natural and/or synthetic materials on fibroblasts and keratinocytes with the aim to generate biomimetic skin structures. Gaining insight into the mechanical, structural and biochemical requirements needed for proper cellular activities will not only increase our understanding of the relevance of the microenvironment to physiological pro-cesses, but also close the distance towards the fabrication of clinically relevant skin substitutes for re-generative purposes.
biomimetic structures, fibroblasts, keratinocytes, material properties, skin regeneration
Khanh studies how the peripheral nervous system may promote the development of squamous cell carcinoma using mouse cancer models and human cancer samples. Her work aims to contribute to the understanding of squamous cell carcinoma by determining important mechanisms in the development of the disease.
neural crest, peripheral glial cells, skin, squamous cell carcinoma, tumorigenesis
Håvar Johan is focusing on the mechanical characterization of skin during wound healing and intrinsic aging. The objective of his research is to improve our understanding of the biomechanics of the skin and to further develop diagnostic tools for different skin diseases, by utilizing both computational and multiscale experimental techniques.
age, biomechanics, finite element analysis, mechanical characterization, wounds
Jihye Kim ★
Konstantinos is studying proteolysis in normal and impaired wound healing using advanced mass spectrometry techniques with the aim of identifying biomarkers for wound outcome. Other projects involve development of bioinformatics tools as well as computational and structural biology.
bioinformatics, biological engineering, proteolysis, proteomics, wound healing
Vadim’s research focuses on exosomes' regenerative capabilities and their unique wound healing properties. Exosomes gained recognition as potential candidates to replace stem cells for regenerative medicine applications. They contain more growth factors than stem cells, they are non-immunogenic, targeted by ligands, and cannot become cancerous. The option to load exosomes with cargo broadens the potential therapeutic applications to drug-delivery systems.
exosomes, wound healing, regenerative medicine, drug delivery
Celine studies how dermal fibroblasts respond to physical changes in their microenvironment, such as dynamic stiffening in 3D, resulting in their differentiation to contractile myofibroblasts. Understanding the contribution of the microenvironment in the regulation of myofibroblast fate will contribute to the development of novel approaches to treat fibrosis-linked diseases.
3D hydrogels, fibrosis, myofibroblasts, skin
Xiang Ge Luo
Xiang Ge Luo uses mathematical and computational tools to study cancer evolution. In particular, she is developing probabilistic models of tumor progression based on single-cell sequencing data.
cancer evolution, probabilistic graphical models, single-cell sequencing data analysis
Fabian studies the role and function of T-helper cell subsets that secrete the cytokine interleukin 9. The focus of his research lies in understanding the biological and metabolic properties of these TH9 cells to identify therapeutic targets for skin inflammation.
immunology, T-helper cells, inflammatory skin disease, Interleukin 9 (IL-9)
Esther Martínez ★
Esther investigates the molecular basis underlying skin fragility and wound healing disorders, focusing on the role of the extracellular matrix. She also studies molecular mechanisms involved in autophagy (dys)regulation and protein homeostasis using protein biochemical approaches and quantitative mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics.
extracellular matrix, mass spectrometry, protein homeostasis, skin fragility, wound healing
Anastasiya Martyts ★
Anastasiya studies various chemomechanical cues that dermal fibroblasts experience when skin is stretched. Understanding the effects of such mechanically coupled stimuli in the skin will improve our understanding of disease pathogenesis and help to develop improved mechanotherapies for skin disorders.
skin biomechanics, chemomechanical coupling, fibroblasts
Yasutaka's research question is "What kind of cutaneous cell types work together closely, and how do they intereact with each other in the skin?" He uses spatial transcriptomics assays and collects spatial gene expression information from atopic dermatitis patients and healthy controls. Yasutaka identified detailed cell-cell crosstalk in the skin, which helps to understand the complex pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis.
atopic dermatitis, epithelial barrier, multiple proteomics, spatial transcriptomics, single-cell transcriptomics
Elena Pachera ★
Fibrotic diseases, including skin fibrotic diseases, are characterized by high morbidity and significantly impaired life quality of the patients. Clinical trials with targeted therapies have shown to slow down disease progression, but not to block it. Currently, there is still a high unmet need for new antifibrotic therapies. The focus of my research is to characterize mechanisms of fibrosis and to identify novel antifibrotic targets.
fibrosis, systemic sclerosis, spheroids, non-coding RNA
Jessica studies the influence of various extrinsic factors on in vitro skin model quality. Understanding the effects of such external stresses will help to develop advanced manufacturing bioreactors, skin culturing devices and technically assisted workflows to enhance the robustness of skin model production.
additive manufacturing, extrinsic factors, in vitro skin models, tissue engineering
Laura investigates the selectivity of lysyl oxidases (LOX) using synthetic collagen peptides and small molecule probes. Her research will shed more light on LOX reactivity and improve our fundamental understanding of LOX-mediated collagen cross-linking during tissue development and disease.
lysyl oxidase, collagen, synthetic peptides, small molecules
Julia Puchan ★
Julia studies unconventional CD8+ T cells, which recognize bacterial peptides via non-classical MHC class I molecules. She thereby aims to elucidate conserved pathways of commensal and pathogen recognition in barrier tissues like skin or gut, and their influence on immunoregulation and effector functions in health and disease.
CD8+ T cells, immunoregulation, microbiota
David Sachs ★
David studies the biomechanical properties of skin. He focuses on modeling individual skin layers using a multi-physical approach. His computer models are used for predicting the mechanical forces, osmotic pressure, and fluid shear forces acting on cells in the skin. Simulation results can provide useful insights to improve our understanding of the mechanobiology of growth and wound healing.
biomechanics, biphasic modeling, finite element simulation, hyperelastic modeling
Catharina Sänger ★
Stefanie investigates the functional role of IL-18 in inflammatory skin disease, specifically atopic dermatitis. The focus of her work lies on elucidating the main source of this proinflammatory cytokine, how its secretion is regulated, and its functional effect on pathogenic TH2 cells. Altogether, her research contributes to the identification of potential therapeutic targets for inflammatory skin disease.
atopic dermatitis, inflammatory skin disease, interleukin-18, pathogenic TH2 cells, type 2 immunity
Ramon studies the early development of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (a frequent type of skin cancer that originates from transformed keratinocytes) on a single-cell level. A better understanding of these mechanisms could lead to improved prevention and treatment of such tumors. Moreover, he is investigating the cellular mechanisms of skin toxicities induced by novel immunotherapies against melanoma.
actinic keratosis, cutaneous toxicity, immunotherapy, skin cancer, single cell analysis
Salome Stierli ★
In the adult organism, neural crest-derived cells from peripheral nerves have been shown to promote skin wound healing, although the mechanisms underlying this process are largely unknown. Salome's research addresses how neural-crest derived cells contribute to the wound healing process in the skin.
fibroblast, neural crest, peripheral glial cells, skin wound healing
Maša investigates collagen maturation and remodeling by utilizing synthetic peptides and fluorescent sensors. She is expanding the versatility of these chemical tools for visualization and monitoring of lysyl oxidase (LOX)-mediated collagen cross-linking to study fibrotic and malignant diseases.
collagen, fluorescent imaging, lysyl oxidase, synthetic peptides
Using multi-omics single-cell profiling methods (CITE-seq, ATAC-Gene-seq, single-cell immune repertoire profiling), Dr. Tastanova studies cell type composition, heterogeneity and microenvironments of tumors compared to healthy tissues. In particular, she is interested in treatment-induced changes in cutaneous lymphoma, melanoma, and other skin cancers.
cutaneous cancers, functional genomics, single-cell profiling, single-cell multi-omics, translational dermato-oncology
The mechanical properties of the extracellular matrix determine skin function and regulate dermal cell behavior. Adam studies the mechanics and mechanobiology of skin and tissue-engineered skin-equivalent materials by developing advanced mechanical characterization techniques, computational models, and bioreactors for skin tissue engineering.
dynamic bioreactors, extracellular matrix, mechanobiology, multiscale mechanics, tissue engineering
Kongchang develops functional polymers and polymer-based biomaterials in different forms, including hydrogels, tissue glues and fibers, to accommodate cells and other bioactive components for skin tissue engineering, protection and regeneration applications.
biomaterials, microfluidics, polymer chemistry, tissue engineering
Mateusz uses bioinformatics tools to identify cell types and pathways involved in both wound healing and cancer development; animal and cellular models of healing and cancer are then used to validate top candidates. These studies get us closer to understanding how tumors commandeer the healing process and identify new targets for wound healing and cancer therapy.
carcinogenesis, extra-cellular matrix, fibroblasts, systems biology, wound healing
Nicola studies the mechanisms underlying lichenoid inflammation, a major clinical and histopathological inflammation pattern of the skin which can emerge naturally or upon drug treatment, e.g. under checkpoint inhibition. In both cases, cell-mediated cytotoxicity is regarded as a major pathomechanism, leading to skin reactions of varying clinical presentation and severity. A mechanistic characterization of the molecular pathways driving these inflammatory skin reactions is the basis to provide remedy for patients suffering from this grievous condition.
adverse cutaneous (drug) reactions, inflammatory and immune response of the skin, keratinocytes, lichenoid skin disease
Lito is establishing 3D whole-mount stainings in human skin to visualize the (lymphatic) vasculature and leucocytes within the dermis. Performing time-lapse confocal / multiphoton imaging in fresh skin, she will study leucocyte migration into and within lymphatic vessels. Alternatively, the method may be used to investigate the activity of adjuvants to induce dendritic cell migration.
immunostaining, leucocyte migration, lymphatic vasculature, time-lapse imaging
Reihane studies the immunological functions of subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) in the context of skin-based inflammation. She focuses on characterization of immune players in SAT by using novel methodologies for spatial phenotyping of skin tissue at the single cell level. Therefore, modulation of SAT immune responses is an important approach for development of therapies for cutaneous or systemic immune-related diseases.
adipose tissue, inflammatory skin disease, imaging mass cytometry