Dr. Andrea Braun (2. v. l.) ist Preisträgerin des ADF/ECARF Awards 2017

A research group under the direction of Dr Andrea Braun (University Medical Center Göttingen) has received the 2017 ADF/ECARF Award. The research group was awarded the prize for its study on the influence of the skin barrier on the development of allergic diseases.(1)

Award for outstanding work in allergy research

The award is endowed with €5,000 and was presented on 10 March at the 44th ADF Meeting (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Dermatologische Forschung) in Göttingen.

“ECARF has been awarding this scientific prize for outstanding work in allergy research since 2005”, said Dr Torsten Zuberbier, chairman of the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF) and chairman of the jury. “This year we selected the work of Dr Braun and her team, which demonstrated for the first time that genetic damage and changes in the skin can lead to respiratory allergies upon exposure to allergens.”

Dysfunctions in the skin barrier may promote the development of allergic asthma

Atopic dermatitis is one of the most common inflammatory skin diseases. In many cases, it precedes allergic diseases such as hay fever or asthma. A risk factor for the development of atopic dermatitis is the lack of structural proteins in the skin, which results in the impairment of the barrier function of the skin. The study provided evidence that these dysfunctions in the skin barrier lead to inflammation. Inflammation not only promotes atopic dermatitis but also increases allergen sensitisation and is a contributing factor in the development of asthma. The research results will help unravel the mechanisms responsible for the development of allergic asthma from atopic dermatitis.

(1) Konstantin Reier, Birka Brauns, Verena N. Lorenz, Martin Mempel, Michael P. Schön, Andrea Braun: Epidermal barrier dysfunction due to Filaggrin- and Hornerin-deficiency promotes allergen sensitization and aggravates experimental asthma in a mouse model of MC903-induced atopic dermatitis. (unpublished study)