Skin Immunology

Aim & Approach

Our skin functions as a complex physical barrier between the environment and our internal organs. It is our 1st line of defense for pathogens and substances coming into contact with the skin. In the healthy situation, various innate and adaptive immune mechanisms are activated to prevent pathogens and toxic substances entering the systemic circulation where they can adversely influence other organs. When this skin immunity malfunctions, skin disease can occur. In the theme ‘Skin Immunology’, we investigate normal and abnormal development of skin immune responses. Moreover, we study how dendritic cell targeting vaccines, modulate skin resident dendritic cells to alter T cell responses.

Principal Investigators

Prof. dr. Sue Gibbs focuses on inflammatory skin disease and wound healing. She develops state of the art tissue engineered organotypic models to address research questions including immune competent skin-, gingiva-, gut,- lymph node- and melanoma-models and in particular ‘’organ-on-a-chip’’.

Prof. dr. Yvette van Kooyk focusses on the dendritic cell targeting nano-vaccines that enhance the stimulation of T cell responses in cancer or induce regulator T cells to inhibit inflammatory response in allergy.