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  Issue 2 (2003)

GD News
UV-related skin Damage and Repair Analyzed
Professor Dr. med. Jean Krutmann Awarded for his Practically-oriented Research in the Field of Photobiology of Skin

Within the scope of its 7th Annual Meeting in Bonn in April 2003, the GD Gesellschaft für Dermopharmazie e. V. has for the first time conferred the Dermopharmazie-Innovation Prize (DIP). This recently established prize is to honour members of the GD for outstanding innovations in the field of Dermopharmacy in irregular intervals. The prize is embodied by a piece of art made of glass especially designed for this purpose and representing a cross-section of the skin. The first prize winner of the DIP is the dermatologist professor Dr. med. Jean Krutmann of the Institut für Umweltmedizinische Forschung (Institute for Environment-Medical Research) of Heinrich-Heine University who was awarded for his scientific work regarding photobiology of the skin.

The prize winner of the DIP is designated by a committee set up by the GD board. It is composed of three members of the GD - according to the GD's interdisciplinary character - from different departments, the pharmacist professor Dr. Wolfgang Wiegrebe, Regensburg, the dermatologist professor Dr. med. Dr. h. c. Thomas Ruzicka, Düsseldorf and the cosmetic chemist Dr. Thomas Förster, Düsseldorf. In his function of speaker of the committee, professor Wiegrebe explained the selection of the first prize winner and outlined in his laudation the work by professor Krutmann which has been honoured with the prize awarded. Wiegrebe emphasized that due to his own photo-chemical research he is particularly pleased to award a researcher active in the field of photobiology of the skin with the DIP 2003.

Research on UV-related
Skin Damage and Repair Successful

Krutmann investigates the bio-chemical processes which take place in the course of UV-radiation. Under the influence of UVB-light, cyclo butane pyrimidine dimers originate from the pyrimidine bases of the DNA which cannot be read und thus interfere with the protein biosynthesis. This modification correlates in the animal experiment with the defence performance of the immune system against tumors. Transplanted tumors which are normally repulsed by mice continue to grow after UVB-radiation. This reflects the connection between the immune system and UV-radiation.

The Dermopharmacy Innovation Prize (DIP) is conferred by the GD for outstanding innovations in the field of dermopharmacy.

Human skin which is treated with UV-light only regenerates slowly as the damaged DNA sections are cut out, re-synthesized, and re-inserted into the DNA. In contrast to humans, the Alga Anacystis nidulans possesses the enzyme photolyasis that allows a swift repair of UV-related DNA-damage. Under the influence of light of the wavelength 360 to 500 nanometer, this enzyme neutralizes the dimerization of neighbouring pyrimidine bases. Thus, a repair is possible without forming new DNA.

The Kunstmuseum (Art Museum) Bonn served as festive frame for the first conferment of the DIP.

Photolyasis for Innovative
UV-protective Principle Developed

This biochemical principle pertinent to an innovative UV-protective concept has been further developed by additional work of Krutmann. He was able to show that human skin cells regenerate in a considerably shorter period of time after applying of the photolyasis. After an effective time of 30 minutes already approximately 45 percent of the DNA-damage is undone and the immune function of the skin is even completely regenerated. Since photolyasis-containing sun protection and after-sun products are available in pharmacies, this new UV-protective principle is applicable by the customer.

Professor Dr. med. Jean Krutmann of the Institut für Umweltmedizinische Forschung (Institute for Environment-Medical Research) at Heinrich-Heine University is bearer of the DIP 2003. He was awarded for this achievements in the field of the photobiology of the skin.

Krutmann equally made an essential contribution for the clearing up of the effects by UVA-rays on the human skin. Thus he developed a new test model to allow a better proof of these effects, consequently enhancing the research of premature skin-ageing as well as the development of skin cancer and other light dermatoses. Furthermore, Krutmann has been involved in the research of genetically-conditioned skin diseases. This overall achievement deserves the designation as innovation and is therefore awarded with the new Dermopharmacy-Innovation Prize by the GD.


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