Max Planck Research Group Wickström

Whole mount staining of mouse epidermis showing three hair follicles. CD34 staining (red) marks the stem cell compartment, alpha6 integrin staining (green) marks all epidermal precursors. Cell nuclei are labeled blue.

Skin Homeostasis and Ageing

The physiological process that maintains a constant number of cells in a renewing organ is called tissue homeostasis. The mammalian skin is ideal for investigating the mechanisms of this process, as it undergoes self-renewal throughout the lifetime of the organism. Our research addresses two fundamental questions: What are the basic principles that govern the balance of proliferation and differentiation enable the maintenance of the skin as a robust but continuously self-renewing organ? How do the dynamics of this balance change upon ageing resulting in tissue dysfunction and disease? [more...]

Selected publications

Morgner J., Ghatak S., Jakobi T., Dieterich C., Aumailley M., Wickström S.A. (2015) Integrin-linked kinase regulates the niche of quiescent epidermal stem cells. Nat Commun 6:8198

Radovanac, K.*, Morgner, J.*, Schultz, J.N., Blumbach, K., Patterson, C., Geiger, T., Mann, M., Krieg, T., Eckes, B., Fässler, R., Wickström, S.A. (2013). Stabilization of Integrin-linked kinase by the Hsp90-CHIP axis impacts cellular force generation, migration and the fibrotic response. EMBOJ. doi:10.1038/emboj.2013.90 *Equal contribution

Wickström, S.A.*, Lange, A., Hess, M.W., Polleux, J., Spatz, J.P., Kruger, M., Pfaller, K., Lambacher, A., Bloch, W., Mann, M., et al. (2010). Integrin-linked kinase controls microtubule dynamics required for plasma membrane targeting of caveolae. Dev Cell 19, 574-588.
* Corresponding author

Wickström, S.A., Masoumi, K.C., Khochbin, S., Fässler, R., and Massoumi, R. (2010). CYLD negatively regulates cell-cycle progression by inactivating HDAC6 and increasing the levels of acetylated tubulin. Embo J 29, 131-144.

Lange, A., Wickström, S.A., Jakobson, M., Zent, R., Sainio, K., and Fässler, R. (2009). Integrin-linked kinase is an adaptor with essential functions during mouse development. Nature 461, 1002-1006.

Third-party funding

  • 2015-2017 | DFG
    Role of Integrin-linked kinase in skin homeostasis and carcinogenesis

  • 2013-2016 | DFG
    SFB 829: Molecular mechanisms regulating skin homeostasis - Subproject A11: Regulation of epidermal stratification and homeostasis through contractility and density sensing

  • 2013-2015 | Behrens-Weise Foundation
    Role of rigidity sensing in skin homeostasis and aging

  • 2012-2015 | NRW Academy of Arts and Sciences/ Stiftung Mercator
    Skin homeostasis and ageing

Open Positions

We are looking for a Postdoctoral Research Fellow (m/f) in tissue and stem cell mechanics research.

Please apply via our online application platform. Deadline for application is 3rd January 2016. Informal inquiries are very welcome and should be sent to wickstroem(at)