24 February 2023 marked the presentation of this year’s ADF/ECARF Award. Not one but two prize-winning teams received the award, endowed with 2,500 euros each, for their particularly innovative and groundbreaking dermatological-allergological research.
Research findings on the gut Microbiome
The work of Nils Scheib and colleagues from the Department of Dermatology at the Münster University Hospital concerns the important research area of the microbiome. Many recent studies have found a link between dysbiosis in the gut and inflammatory diseases, including allergies. However, the role of commensal bacteria in allergic contact dermatitis (ACD), one of the most common occupational skin diseases, is largely unknown. Therefore, the researchers set out to investigate the role of commensal bacteria in a mouse model of skin inflammation similar to ACD in patients. The researchers found evidence that the gut microbiome exhibits crucial immunoregulatory properties in ACD. Of particular interest in this context is the fact that ECARF researchers have already been able to show the importance of the gut microbiome in allergic rhinitis in pollen chamber studies.
The impact of genetic and environmental factors on Neurodermatitis
The work of Frederick Hartung and colleagues from the Leibnitz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine in Düsseldorf deals with the pathogenesis of neurodermatitis (atopic dermatitis AD), which involves an impairment of the skin barrier due to an interplay of genetic and environmental factors. The study found that a subgroup of people (carriers of the AKR1C3-SNP rs12529 gene) has an increased risk of acute skin inflammation in neurodermatitis. These investigations are highly significant. They show that there are many more subtypes of neurodermatitis than previously assumed and underline the importance of individual therapy management.
“This year we have once again succeeded in honouring two relevant and groundbreaking research papers with the ADF/ECARF Award for European Allergy Research,” said Prof. Dr. Torsten Zuberbier, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “The researchers here deal with current allergological topics and come up with important findings that further advance research. Congratulations to the winners – I can only encourage them to keep up the excellent work.”
The European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF) and the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Dermatologische For
schung (ADF) want to motivate further research in the field of allergology. They have therefore been jointly offering the “ADF/ECARF Award for European Allergy Research”, sponsored by ECARF, since 2005. The prize is endowed with 5,000 euros and is awarded annually. The award winner is selected by a jury at the ADF Annual Conference.
The non-profit European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF) has been certifying products and services with the ECARF Seal of Quality, the only Europe-wide certificate for allergy-friendly products and services, on the basis of scientific quality criteria since 2006. Furthermore, ECARF specifically supports allergological research at the European level as well as initiatives to improve the medical treatment of allergic diseases. ecarf.org
The aim of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Dermatologische Forschung (ADF) is to promote research in the field of dermatology and related fields, in particular interdisciplinary and supraregional cooperation in German-speaking countries. The ADF is particularly committed to the support and advancement of young scientists in dermatological research and awards a number of prizes and scholarships for this purpose. The ADF is affiliated with the German Dermatological Society (DDG). https://www.adf-online.de/
Stefanie Link, Head of Communication, ECARF
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