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Eckhart - Skin Biology

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The research of the Skin Biology Lab focuses on the structure and function of the epidermis, the evolution of the skin at the molecular level and interactions of the skin with the environment. Recent projects have provided important insights into the following molecular and cellular processes in healthy and diseased skin: Autophagy, differentiation of keratinocytes, cornification of epidermis and hair, enzymatic processing of proteins and regulation of innate immunity.

  • In cooperation with Prof. Kris Vleminckx, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium, we have determined the role of the transcription factor Hoxc13 in the evolution of cornified skin appendages, such as nails and hair. The results were published in Nature Communications: Carron M*, Sachslehner AP*, Cicekdal MB, Bruggeman I, Demuynck S, Golabi B, De Baere E, Declercq W, Tschachler E, Vleminckx K**, Eckhart L** (2024) Evolutionary origin of Hoxc13-dependent skin appendages in amphibians. Nat. Commun. 15:2328. doi: 10.1038/s41467-024-46373-x. *,**, contributed equally
  • Attila Sachslehner contributed a talk to the symposium “Regulatory evolution and the emergence of diversity” at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Molecular Biology & Evolution (SMBE) 2023.
  • We have started the project “Molecular evolution of skin appendages”, supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), in March 2023. Please contact project leader, Leopold Eckhart, if you are interested in joining this project.
  • Marta Šurbek received a DOC Fellowship of the Austrian Academy of Sciences / Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften (ÖAW). Congratulations to Marta!