Our skin is a structural barrier protecting us from microbes, mechanical stress and other environmental hazards. Upon detection of tissue damage or pathogens, the keratinocytes will activate the immune system and thus initiate a molecular signaling cascade to raise an appropriate tissue response. This immune-keratinocyte cross-talk is necessary to maintain skin homeostasis. Perturbations in the cellular and molecular dialogue between these cells are underlying multiple dermatological diseases, such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis and skin cancer.
My research project aims to identify crucial keratinocyte-immune interactions in autoinflammation and investigate their functional relevance in the skin. Furthermore, I assess how molecular signaling between immune cells and keratinocytes affects epidermal stem cell migration and proliferation. The generated knowledge will help to understand how stem cells interact with their tissue microenvironment and how this intercellular communication affects cutaneous inflammation and skin cancer.
- ‘Fibrotic enzymes modulate wound-induced skin tumorigenesis’. EMBO Reports, 2021 (accepted for publication)
Contact & links
- Lab address: VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research, Technologiepark 71, 9052 Gent-Zwijnaarde
- Keratinocyte microenvironment lab