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Research activities in Inflammatory & infectious skin diseases of the Department of Dermatology

Research groups

Hans-Dietmar Beer

Main fields of research

Keratinocytes represent the main cell type of the epidermis. This outermost layer of the skin is directly exposed to numerous types of stress, including UVB radiation. Our research tries to elucidate the mechanisms, which are responsible for the maintenance of the integrity of the epidermis under stress conditions. A protein complex, termed NLRP1 inflammasome, plays important roles in different stress-induced processes of the epidermis, including sunburn, protection against viral infection, inflammatory skin conditions and skin cancer development. Since NLRP1-dependent mechanisms are only poorly conserved in other species, such as in mice, we are establishing novel models for skin research and protocols for the stable genetic manipulation of human primary keratinocytes and skin cancer cells by state-of-the-art methods. In addition, we are interested in understanding how anti-inflammatory drugs modulate inflammasome expression and activation.


Group members

Hans-Dietmar Beer, PD PhD
Gabriele Fenini, PhD
Paulina Hennig, PhD student
Michela Di Filippo, PhD student
Tugay Karakaya, PhD student
Gilles Bilfeld, Master student

Gruppen Foto mit Mitarbeitenden des Research activities in Inflammatory & infectious skin diseases of the Department of Dermatology


Hans-Dietmar Beer, PD Dr. rer. nat.

Oberassistent, Dermatologische Klinik

Tel. +41 44 255 39 73

Philipp Bosshard

Main fields of research

Our research activities focus on skin infections and pathogen-host-interactions. This comprises research on bacterial infections (e.g. sexually transmitted infections), fungal infections and the role of the human skin microbiome in inflammatory skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis. Our main interests are epidemiological studies, to develop and improve diagnostic tools for skin infections (e.g. PCR) and to research on the human skin microbiome (e.g. next generation sequencing).

Group members

Martin Glatz, MD
Bettina Schmid, PhD student
Ksenia Mischler, MD student
Riccardo Curatolo, MD student
Moritz Klinger, MD student


Philipp Bosshard, PD Dr. sc. nat.

Oberassistent und Laborleiter FAMH, Dermatologische Klinik

Tel. +41 44 255 39 72

Antonios Kolios

Main fields of Interest

Our research focuses on autoimmune and inflammatory skin diseases. A special interest includes restoration of immune tolerance and targeted personalized treatment approaches. Our research integrates translational questions with clinical relevance. Therefore, we use state-of the art methods to uncover disease mechanisms incl. flow cytometry, scRNAseq, transcriptomics, proteomics, and spacial tissue profiling in blood and skin.

In autoimmune diseases, we focus on immune dysbalance investigating immune regulation towards the interaction of regulatory T cells and effector cells and how this delicate balance can be influenced by novel and potential treatment options. Special focus is on vitiligo, cutaneous lupus, psoriasis, hidradenitis suppurativa and pityriasis rubra pilaris (PRP). Recently, we discovered potential pathways which may represent promising treatment targets or which are in translation to clinical applications.

Group members

Maria Nikolaou, MSc, PhD student
Gabriela Lerner, Pract. med., doctoral candidate
Tobias Berger, Pract. med, doctoral candidate
Jeivicaa Thevan, medical student, doctoral candidate


Antonios Kolios, PD Dr. med.

Leitender Arzt, Dermatologische Klinik

Spezialgebiete: Immundermatologie, Allergologie, Vitiligo, Kutaner Lupus erythematodes
Tel. +41 43 253 40 88

Barbara Meier-Schiesser

Main fields of research

Inflammatory skin diseases are frequent in number and often lead to a decreased quality of life in the affected patients. Although intense research in the field has already led to successful treatment of a number of these diseases, several questions still remain to be addressed. We aim to investigate the innate and adaptive immune pathways leading to i) severe adverse drug reactions of the skin, i.e. acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis ii) lichenoid skin diseases, iii) cancer-drug induced lichenoid skin reactions and iv) autoinflammatory syndromes. The goal of our research is to open up new relevant research avenues and to identify new therapeutic targets in difficult-to-treat diseases.


Group members

Dr. Nicola Winkelbeiner, PhD (Postdoctoral fellow)
Cadri Knoch, MD (doctoral candidate)
Jamila Hess, MD (doctoral candidate)
Patrick Poffet, MD (doctoral candidate)
Stephanie Schneider (MD master student)
Fabienne Fröhlich, MD (resident physician)
Annika Klug, research technician


Barbara Meier-Schiesser, Dr. med. Dr. sc. nat.

Oberärztin, Dermatologische Klinik
Koordinatorin Hauttumorzentrum, Comprehensive Cancer Center Zürich

Spezialgebiete: Immundermatologie /-onkologie, Lichenoide Dermatosen, Arzneimittelreaktionen
Tel. +41 44 255 11 11

Julia-Tatjana Maul

Main Fields of Research

Our main research activities are focused on inflammatory skin diseases, with a particular emphasis on psoriasis, a highly stigmatizing disease that affects patients both physically and mentally, leading in most cases to poor quality of life and increased risk of severe comorbidities. Despite the highly efficacious treatment options since the introduction of specific therapies targeting key cytokines involved in the pathogenesis such as TNFα, IL-17 and IL-23, many clinical and immunological questions remain. Our goal is to investigating the drug survival of biologics and conventional systemics, sex and gender differences in treatment response and access to treatment, as well as the underlying immunological mechanisms involved.

Group members

Ion Birkenmaier (PHD candidate)
Simona Steinmann MD (doctoral candidate)
Lina Raue, MD (doctoral candidate)
Fabio Veradi, MD (doctoral candidate)
Fabienne Fröhlich, MD (resident physician)
Dario Simic, MD (resident physician)
Melike AK, MD (resident physician)
Yuk Yi, Chen (MD master student)
Mathilde von Laue (MD master student)


Julia-Tatjana Maul, PD Dr. med.

Oberärztin, Dermatologische Klinik

Spezialgebiete: Leitung Psoriasis- und Akne Inversa-Sprechstunde, Leitung klinische Studien u.a. SDNTT (Swiss Dermatology Network for Targeted Therapy), Allgemeine Dermatologie und Dermato-Onkologie
Tel. +41 44 255 11 11