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1992 …2022

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Last updated 27th March 2023


Hans Hennies studied biochemistry at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, and moved to the field of human genetics for his PhD studies. He obtained a PhD for a project exploring the genetic basis of a group of monogenic skin diseases, which is a major research interest until today. He continued working on disorders of keratinisation with Prof. A. Reis (then Institute of Human Genetics, Charité Berlin) and Prof. I. Leigh (then Imperial Cancer Reasearch Fund, London) before moving to the Gene Mapping Center (director Prof. A. Reis) at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin.

In 2005 he was appointed Junior Research Group leader at the University of Cologne and became head of the Division of Dermatogenetics at the Cologne Center for Genomics (director Prof. P. Nürnberg). Hans was principal investigator at the Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne and the Cologne Cluster of Excellence on Cellular Stress Responses in Aging-Associated Diseases and he completed the habilitation and was awarded the venia legendi in 2012. He established several collaborative research initiatives and was a board member of the Network for Ichthyoses and Related Keratinisation Disorders (NIRK), funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research, and coordinator of the Network on Rare Congenital Skin Diseases (SkinDev), funded by European Research Agencies. From 2013 he led the Centre for Dermatogenetics at the Institute of Human Genetics of the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria, which brought together teaching, research and diagnostics of genetic skin diseases. He joined the University of Huddersfield in 2015 as a Reader in Biological Sciences and he is affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Cologne as a principal investigator and guest lecturer in Human Genetics. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Research Expertise and Interests

  • keratinocytes
  • genodermatosis
  • epidermal barrier
  • epidermal differentiation
  • epidermal ceramides
  • connective tissue
  • skin genetics
  • skin modelling
  • organotypic tissue culture
  • protein replacement
  • medical genetics
  • medical genomics
  • translational research
  • Biology of epidermal keratinocytes
  • Genetic skin diseases
  • Diseases associated with impaired epidermal barrier function and disturbance of epidermal differentiation
  • Skin development and cellular modelling
  • The function and diseases of the dermal connective tissue


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