Acne and Sebaceous Gland Programme

Acne and oily skin affect nearly everyone

Consumers find oily skin undesirable. Also, increased sebum production is considered to contribute to acne. Acne itself is a disfiguring condition for which there are no effective over the counter products available.

Whilst there are many medical treatments for this condition, these have undesirable side effects and added disadvantage of being available only as prescription drugs.

asian skin biobank 3d skin model2

We are designing new therapies for acne

The Acne and Sebaceous Gland programme brings together leading scientists, industry partners and clinicians to study the genetic, cellular and molecular cause of acne and oily skin to design new breakthrough therapies.

We also study the gene signatures and cell behaviours of intact glands within skin. Learning biological mechanisms helps us develop new tools to screen for drugs.

Our insights into acne have enabled us to establish an in vitro model for the disease, based on human sebaceous progenitors.

We have isolated several human (Asian female) sebocyte and keratinocyte cell lines, which we can keep alive indefinitely. 

We are also the first to achieve human sebaceous organoids. These “mini-glands in a dish” show proper differentiation of sebocytes and sebum production once they have entered a homeostatic phase. Organoids develop over a 7-day period, similar to development of sebaceous glands in vivo before birth and during puberty.

Contact us

For more information on the Acne and Sebaceous Gland programme, please contact Maurice van Steensel.