Two international scientists awarded for pioneering skin research

The LEO Pharma Research Foundation reveals this year’s award winners: two talented scientists from Italy and Germany pioneering advances in dermatology research.

Today, the LEO Pharma Research Foundation (LPRF) awards two young scientists for their pioneering work at the annual meeting of the European Society for Dermatological Research in Rotterdam.

This year’s DKK 1 million Gold Award goes to Dr. Nicola Segata, Assistant Professor and Principal Investigator, Laboratory of Computational Metagenomics, Centre for Integrative Biology, University of Trento, Italy. The DKK 500,000 Silver Award goes to Dr. Kilian Eyerich, Assistant Professor, Experimental Dermato-Immunology, School of Medicine, Technische Universität München, Germany.

“The award winners’ outstanding work has challenged scientific understanding of skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. The LEO Pharma Research Foundation acknowledges the significance of this research – not only for its contribution to the scientific community, but also for the millions of people worldwide living with skin diseases. For these patients, scientific advances offers hope for better dermatology care in the future,” says Thorsten Thormann, chairman of the LPRF Award Committee.

Gold Award

Dr. Segata has pioneered novel advanced techniques for the characterisation of the microorganisms colonising the human body (the microbiome). His discoveries have proven to be crucial in studying microbial communities and unravelling the structure of the human skin microbiome. The characterisation of the microbiome is a fast-growing research field because it plays an important role in many pathological conditions, including skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis, acne, psoriasis and rosacea.

Silver Award

Early in his career, Dr. Eyerich studied the cross-talk between keratinocytes and T cells using co-cultures. His work on the role of Th17 and Th22 cells in the skin has significantly enhanced molecular understanding of atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. Dr. Eyerich has identified a unique group of patients with co-existing inflammatory skin diseases and demonstrated the mutual antagonism of T cells causing atopic dermatitis and psoriasis.

Each year, the LPRF awards two scientists from the global science community with the aim of supporting significant advances in scientific research. The European Society for Dermatological Research (ESDR) selects candidates while the LPRF selects the award winners.