Research interests of Prof. Dr. med. Nikhil Yawalkar
Cutaneous drug reactions
The skin is commonly affected by adverse drug reactions which can range from mildly discomforting to life threatening and represent a worldwide major health concern. Until today, the precise pathogenesis of many cutaneous drug reactions are only partly understood and the reasons for their frequent involvement in the skin still remain to be clarified. The Departments of Allergology/Clinical Immunology (Prof. W. Pichler) and Dermatology (Prof. N. Yawalkar) at the Inselspital University Hospital of Bern have a long standing collaboration in the field of cutaneous drug reactions, which has lead to numerous publications (see PubMed). Main research goals are an improved understanding of the molecular interaction of drugs/chemicals with immune cells, i.e. T cells, dendritic cells and how they stimulate (or inhibit) the immune system. These studies are planned to pave the way for improved methods to diagnose drug induced adverse reaction and to improve risk assessment of chemicals/drugs.
Psoriasis is a common, currently incurable inflammatory skin disease of variable severity and profound psychosocial implications. A growing body of evidence suggests that psoriasis may also be associated with serious comorbidities like metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. The underlying pathomechanisms of psoriasis are still not fully understood and probably involve a complex dysregulation of the innate and acquired immunity. Recent insights into the immunopathogenesis of psoriasis provide new therapeutic opportunities, e.g. with biologics. In addition to clinical and therapeutic studies, we are strongly interested in investigating basic immunological mechanisms, e.g. cytokines (IL-12/IL-23) and chemokines and their regulation through therapeutic interventions in inflammatory diseases like psoriasis in comparison to different forms of eczema. These investigations may help to identify new targets for future therapeutic intervention.