21 February 2019

LEO Foundation Skin Immunology Research Center at the University of Copenhagen will be officially opened on Monday. The center is being inaugurated by His Royal Highness Prince Joachim and Tommy Ahlers, Minister for Higher Education and Science. Over the next 10 years, the research center will conduct top-level international research into the skin’s immune system and its diseases.

”Most skin diseases arise because of failure in our immune systems. The immune system attacks our organism instead of protecting it. By combining research into skin and the immune system, the LEO Foundation hopes to support world class research at the University of Copenhagen. The aim of the new center is to increase our understanding of skin conditions and so enable us in future to find better ways of treating and completely curing them,” says Jesper Mailind, CEO, LEO Foundation.

At any point in time one in every four persons will suffer from a skin disease, which is often visible and stigmatizing – and in some cases completely debilitating.

”Stigma attaches to skin disease and it is a disability for many people. By bringing together leading researchers in immunology and skin disease and giving them access to the top modern facilities at the Maersk Tower, we can extend and take basic research in skin and skin disease to completely new heights. Amongst other things, researchers will be making use of Big Data and highly specialised proteonomics research that can provide new insights into the fundamental mechanisms that cause skin disease,” says Dean Ulla Wewer, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen.

The new research center will now be bringing together leading international figures in basic immunology with the focus on research and education in skin and its diseases at the Maersk Tower at the University of Copenhagen. From there they will be contributing new knowledge of basic, translational and clinical research to help develop therapeutic principles that can strengthen the immune system’s fight against some of the more than 3000 known skin diseases.

“With this Center we will get a beacon for research in skin disease. It is excellent news for Denmark and for the many people around the world who are suffering from skin diseases like psoriasis and eczema. The Center is a great example of how collaboration between universities and private foundations can strengthen basic research and lead to great research breakthroughs in the future,” says Tommy Ahlers, Minister for Higher Education and Science.