Anna Redl receives Egon Macher Prize from the Dermatology Research Association

Bild: Arbeitsgemeinschaft Dermatologische Forschung
Bild: Arbeitsgemeinschaft Dermatologische Forschung

Anna Redl, PhD candidate and assistant doctor in specialist training at MedUni Vienna’s Department of Dermatology, has been awarded the Egon Macher Prize by the Working Group for Dermatological Research. She was honored for her basic research on non-infectious granulomatous diseases.

The Egon Macher Prize of the "Arbeitsgemeinschaft Dermatologische Forschung" is awarded annually to young scientists for outstanding scientific work in experimental dermatology in German-speaking countries.

Granulomatous inflammation of the skin of unknown cause, such as cutaneous sarcoidosis, represents a particular therapeutic challenge. Especially in the case of systemic organ affection, persistent chronic inflammation and fibrosis can lead to a loss of function in vital organs such as the lungs, heart or eyes. The skin is an easily accessible organ and offers the possibility of taking and analyzing samples that are difficult to reach in other organs. Using single-cell sequencing in combination with spatial analysis of proteins and RNA in lesional skin, disease-specific immune and non-immune cells could be analyzed in detail as well as their interactions with each other resulting in progression and persistence of the disease. Significant new pathomechanisms of the disease were identified, which represent important new clues for future therapies. Furthermore, it was shown that granulomas use similar mechanisms to peripheral lymphatic structures, also known as tertiary lymphoid organs involved in tumor defense, to gain and maintain their formation

This work provides important new insights into basic research on non-infectious granulomatous diseases and highlights the close interplay between disease-specific immune cells and structural cells that maintain the inflammatory processes.

About the person

Anna Redl studied medicine at the Medical University of Vienna from 2012 to 2018 and is currently completing her PhD studies in the field of immunology with a focus on granulomatous inflammation of the skin under the supervision of Georg Stary. With her publications in international high-impact journals (Redl et al, Lancet Rheumatol 2024 and Lim CX, Redl A, Kleissl L et al, Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2024), she provided valuable insights into the underlying pathomechanisms of these enigmatic diseases and tested new treatment methods. Especially cell metabolism and the proteinkinase mTOR are promising new therapy targets resulting in clinical improvement. To pursue her research as a clinician scientist, she is now in specialist training as a junior doctor specializing in immunodermatology at the Department of Dermatology at MedUni Vienna and University Hospital Vienna.