21 February 2019

World’s First Skin Atlas to See the Light of Day

Skin research

On Monday, the new ambitious skin research center at the University of Copenhagen will be officially opened. ‘LEO Foundation Skin Immunology Research 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 centre will be undertaking research into immunology and skin disease.

Every fourth person on the globe suffers at some time from a skin disease which often leads to considerably reduced quality of life.  

”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 centre 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 centre 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 centre 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.

Grant of DKK 400m over ten years
In addition to recruiting national and international researchers in the field, the Center's ambition is to establish close collaborations and knowledge-sharing between universities and hospitals. The Center is also intended to promote education and the development of talent in students and future specialists. The whole operation will be started with a grant of DKK 400m over a period of 10 years from the LEO Foundation.

”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 centre 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.

Royal tour of the new laboratories
The official opening will start with a scientific symposium on skin and skin disease at which international experts will be sharing experience from their research. The actual inauguration ceremony will then take place. The official opening will be attended by HRH Prince Joachim as patron of Asthma Allergy Denmark, Education and Science Minister Tommy Ahlers, and Henrik C. Wegener, Rector of the University of Copenhagen.  

They will be shown around the new laboratory facilities and the press will be very welcome to attend the symposium, the inauguration ceremony and the tour. Deadline for registration and press accreditation is 3pm on Friday February 22.

  • Date: Monday 25 February 2019
  • Sted: Maersk Tower, Blegdamsvej 3B, DK-2200 Copenhagen N
  • Time:
    • 09.30-12.00: Scientific Symposium, Holst Auditorium in the Maersk Tower (without the participation of HRH Prince Joachim and Education and Science Minister Tommy Ahlers).
    • 13.30-15.30: Inauguration Ceremony, Jerne Auditorium in the Maersk Tower.

Contact point for more details:
Kristine Snedker, kristine.snedker@sund.ku.dk, (+45) 23 64 88 42.
Or Andreas Westergaard, andreas.westergaard@sund.ku.dk, (+45) 53 59 32 80.