Dr Gerhard Strittmatter, PhD
Martha Garstkiewicz, PhD student
Jennifer Sand, PhD student
Serena Grossi, PhD student
Role of keratinocytes
We are mainly interested in the role of keratinocytes, the main cell type of the epidermis, in immunity, inflammation and cancer development in the skin. Upon detection of stress signals in the epidermis, such as UVB irradiation, keratinocytes activate the protease caspase-1 resulting in pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion and inflammation. Our research focuses on the molecular mechanisms underlying caspase-1 activation as well as the down-stream events. Since caspase-1 and other family members are central regulators of inflammation and cell death, pathways critically involved in inflammatory skin conditions but also in cancer, research in our group focuses on the identifi cation of novel targets for the treatment of these diseases.