The European Society for Dermatological Research (ESDR), founded in 1970, is a non-profit organization promoting basic and clinical science related to dermatology. The ESDR is the largest investigative dermatology society in Europe with a current membership of over 1200.
By supporting investigative dermatology, the ESDR contributes towards improving the health of patients suffering from skin and venereal disease. Applications of recent scientific advances have produced diagnostic and therapeutic innovations in dermatological practice, particularly in genetics, skin cancer, allergic skin disease, infectious disease and autoimmune diseases.
The ESDR facilitates exchange of information relevant to investigative dermatology between clinicians and scientists worldwide. One of the most important activities of our Society is to promote the presentation of new research data and ideas at our annual scientific meeting and clinically oriented symposia. The ESDR also organises educational events throughout the year to further knowledge in dermatological research.
Dermatological research is at the frontier of biomedical research. Examples of diseases that benefit from this research include:
- Disease Genetics. Analysis of structural biology of skin has led to identification of target genes for many hereditary genodermatoses including mechanobullous diseases, ichthyoses and diseases that are associated with other medical problems such as keratoderma and deafness, or heart disease.
- Skin Cancer. Understanding the role of ultraviolet radiation and molecular genetics in both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer has led to widespread public education campaigns. New treatments for melanoma including dendritic cell vaccination are currently under development.
- Immunological and inflammatory disease. Common skin diseases such as psoriasis, atopic eczema and contact dermatitis have been extensively studied in Europe, particularly roles of cytokines and other inflammatory mediators, and cell mediated immunity.
- Infectious disease. A wide range of infections from the common wart virus to the uncommon (such as Lyme disease) provide important subjects for research. New and emerging infections, including cutaneous manifestations of HIV disease are actively studied.
- Cutaneous biology. All aspects including epidermal growth and differentiation, cell signalling pathways in inflammation, the immune system, angiogenesis, pigment cell biology and extracellular matrix/mesenchymal cells are widely studied in Europe. These provide not only the platform for understanding skin disease, but also a model for other organ systems in the fields of transplantation immunology, gene therapy, and transdermal drug delivery.