Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Systems dermatology of inflammatory diseases

Inflammatory skin diseases such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis can severely impact both the physical and social aspect of a patient’s life. Aberrant inflammatory responses are thought to be a major causative factor in these disorders, but an abundance of different factors contribute to the development of lesions on the skin. Up to this point, patients are insufficiently characterized by a state-of-the-art array of assessments that cover all the different aspects of the disease. This project focusses on the profiling of patients on a molecular, cellular and phenotype level with the use of a multidimensional methodology. Special emphasis is put on the barrier function, which is often compromised in lesional skin. This decrease in barrier function is paralleled by alterations in the cutaneous lipid composition and organization. The correlation between the lipid composition and disease severity might indicate a more pronounced role of the cutaneous barrier in disease and might find use as a biomarker for clinical drug development. The aim of the project is to establish a set of complementary analyses which can be integrated into a comprehensive readout to be applied as endpoint for trials or in clinical practice. This multidimensional approach to profile the clinical outcome of skin targeted therapies might yield a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying disease, provide further insights into the implication of the cutaneous barrier in these diseases and could lead to the discovery of novel biomarkers for clinical dermatological research.

Jannik Rousel
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