Research Agenda

The Genetics group is coordinating the International Autoimmune Blistering Diseases Genetics Consortium. So far more than 1000 patients have been recruited.

Together with Prof. E. Schmidt and Prof. D. Zillikens we are coordinating the national German Autoimmune Bullous Disease Genetic Study Group. Twenty centers have so far recruited more than 750 patients.

This unique resource is the basis for ongoing studies aiming at identifying AIBD risk genes and perform Gene-environment interaction studies (e.g. microbiota, smoking).

The group also identified Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) controlling different disease stages and related phenotypes, e.g. disease onset, antibody response, in  a mouse model of autoimmune blistering disease. Some of these QTLs have been fine mapped and positional cloning of the underlying susceptibility genes is currently underway. Lately the group has focused on studying the role of gene-environment interactions in the pathogenesis of AIBD. 

Studies taking a similar approach on Psoriasis  are ongoing. 

Additionally the group is pursuing projects aiming at understanding the role of the mitchondrial genome in the pathogenesis of inflammatory and aging-related diseases