The University Medicine Zurich research network, which includes the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH), the University of Zurich (UZH) and hospitals in Zurich, is planning a new flagship project dedicated to skin. Researchers, engineers and doctors will work together to develop new therapies and diagnostic procedures for skin diseases and tissue repair disorder, and to push forward fundamental research. The ETH Zurich and the UZH are each receiving CHF 500,000 from the project, revealed a statement.
The big project known as Skintegrity is primarily designed to promote interdisciplinary research and lead to new partnerships. It comprises ten sub-projects including, for example, the production of artificial skin for transplantations or for research purposes, and the measurement of the mechanical properties of skin in order to diagnose fibrotic skin diseases such as scleroderma in the early stages. Meanwhile, several fundamental research projects will look at wound healing and carcinogenesis.
Detlef Günther, vice president of Research and Corporate Relations at the ETH Zurich, explained that Zurich, as a hub for medical research and clinical care, could now further develop its interdisciplinary strengths in the area of skin research. He added: “Not only will the project promote skin research in Zurich, it will also give a crucial boost to the medical technology industry, biotechnology, and the pharmaceutical industry in Switzerland.”
In the medium-term, the partners aim to expand the project beyond Zurich and to work with experts from other Swiss universities. There are also plans to find further sources of funding to secure the project’s long-term viability.