In recent years results from many laboratories, including the consortium in Cologne, have led to a change in our understanding of the origin of various skin diseases. Recent crucial findings emphasize that research restricted to individual components is not sufficient to understand how the different components and compartments contribute to skin disease. Instead, the cross talk and interactions between the different cells and compartments is crucial to analyze their role in skin homeostasis.
To prevent and efficiently treat skin diseases and related diseases in other organs we therefore must understand how the different compartments, structures and cell types communicate and cooperate to establish and maintain a healthy homeostasis and identify the key changes/signals that initiate the development of skin disease.
The focus of research in the SFB is therefore to analyze the different forms of cellular communication, either by direct contact, via extracellular matrix or by soluble factors, in mediating skin homeostasis. Based on the development of the skin related research groups in Cologne within the DFG „Forschergruppe“ and the SFB 589 there was already an excellent aggregation of expertise to adress these questions. Recent recruitments of new faculty members were crucial to close some gaps in the required expertise (e.g. identifiaction of signaling processes, expertise in complex transgenic mouse models, Zebrafish and C. elegans systems). The SFB now has the unique advantage that many groups with expertise in diverse aspects crucial for skin homeostasis are located in Cologne and will combine their strenghts to adress these problems.