The LEO Foundation Award 2014 – Silver Award
Grantee: Dr. Christina Zielinski
Amount: DKK 500,000
Presented to Dr. med. Christina Zielinski, research group leader and dermatological fellow, Department of Dermatology and Allergology and Berlin-Brandenburg Center for Regenerative Therapies, Charité University Medicine, Berlin.
Dr. Zielinski’s research focuses on how the body’s immune system protects itself from microbial assault by distinguishing between the body’s own cells and foreign organisms. It examines what happens when the body does not regulate itself in this way and how this affects the development of autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis and multiple sclerosis. Insights gained from these studies are expected to identify molecular cues that can be exploited in order to develop immune modulation therapies.
The LEO Foundation Award 2014 – Gold Award
Grantee: Dr. Kim B. Jensen
Amount: DKK 1,000,000
Presented to Ph.D. Kim B. Jensen, associate professor at the Biotech Research and Innovation Centre at the University of Copenhagen.
Dr. Jensen’s research focuses on how the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin, is constantly renewed throughout life in an organised manner by epidermal stem cells. Epidermal stem cells need to be carefully controlled as any imbalance is likely to have devastating consequences. Too little contribution from the stem cells can lead to bleeding ulcers, whereas too much contribution can lead to skin cancer. By examining how stem cells are regulated in the epidermis, Jensen hopes to gain insights into mechanisms responsible for disease development and identify new drugable pathways.
Psoriasis in children
Grantee: Professor Lone Skov, Department of Dermato-Allergology, Gentofte Hospital, Denmark
Amount: DKK 4,500,000
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition with a prevalence of 2-3% in northern Europe. While considerable research exists on adults with psoriasis, there is little research on the condition in children. Identifying key factors associated with psoriasis in childhood may lead to more effective control and possibly even prevention of the condition.
The study aims to determine environmental and genetic risk factors relating to the development of psoriasis in children, the nature of stress related to the child and family, and quality of life. The project also aims to determine the link with risk factors of co-morbidity and the effect of early intensive treatment.
The study is led by Professor Lone Skov, Department of Dermato-Allergology, Gentofte Hospital, Denmark. The team will explore the following hypotheses:
- Risk factors for early onset of psoriasis can be predicted
- Early debut of psoriasis has a significant impact on quality of life and individual and family-related stress
- Early intensive treatment leads to remission
- There is already an increased risk of co-morbidity in children with psoriasis
- Age at debut, risk factors and co-morbidity are related
to the genetic risk.
The study offers a unique possibility to access data from children with psoriasis shortly after diagnosis, which in turn can pave the way for new and improved tools for assessing the impact of the condition on quality of life in a well-controlled study design.