Principal Investigators
Carien Niessen

Fax  +49 221 478 84376

Dermatologische Klinik, Zentrum für Molekulare Medizin Köln (ZMMK)
CECAD Forschungszentrum
Joseph-Stelzmann-Str. 26
D 50931 Köln
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Prof. Carien Niessen

The skin barrier protects organisms from drying out and is the first line of defense against micro-organisms, UV radiation and heat. For organisms to maintain and restore the skin barrier, the interfollicular epidermis (IFE) and its appendages, hair follicles (HF) and sebaceous glands must continously be renewed. Different populations of stem- and progenitor cells guarantee constant self-renewal under steady state conditions and sufficient plasticity for the fast replacement of lost tissue in case of injury.  The flexible balance between self-renewal and terminal differentiation is determined by the variable conditions of the extracellular environment. Both barrier integrity and plasticity of the progenitor cell pools decrease during aging. The overall goal of my laboratory is to understand how regulators of cell structure integrate with regulators of metabolic activity, proliferation and inflammation to control skin barrier formation and homeostasis. Finally, our aim is to understand how age associated alterations in molecular regulators of cell architecture alter progenitor cell behavior and result in (age) associated impairment of the skin barrier.

We have open PHD/Post-Doc positions! 
If you are enthusiastic about skin research and interested in joining our laboratory, please contact Prof. Carien Niessen or Dr. Michaela Fink.

Figures
Epidermal appendages: (A) The sebecaous gland (arrow) is associated with the hair follicle and (B) characterized by SCD1 as stained for in green. (C) Wole mounts of three hair follicles and their associated sebaceous glands. (D) Scanning electron micrograph of a hair. The background image visualizes the tight junctional barrier in primary keratinocytes stained for the tight junctional marker ZO1-1. Red represents the nucleus.
Epidermal appendages: (A) The sebecaous gland (arrow) is associated with the hair follicle and (B) characterized by SCD1 as stained for in green. (C) Wole mounts of three hair follicles and their associated sebaceous glands. (D) Scanning electron microgra