C M Schempp

Carl Gustav Carus-Institut , Pforzheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

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Publications (116)236.5 Total impact

  • Ute Wölfle, Günter Seelinger, Christoph M Schempp
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    ABSTRACT: St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) has been intensively investigated for its antidepressive activity, but dermatological applications also have a long tradition. Topical St. John's wort preparations such as oils or tinctures are used for the treatment of minor wounds and burns, sunburns, abrasions, bruises, contusions, ulcers, myalgia, and many others. Pharmacological research supports the use in these fields. Of the constituents, naphthodianthrones (e.g., hypericin) and phloroglucinols (e.g., hyperforin) have interesting pharmacological profiles, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and antimicrobial activities. In addition, hyperforin stimulates growth and differentiation of keratinocytes, and hypericin is a photosensitizer which can be used for selective treatment of nonmelanoma skin cancer. However, clinical research in this field is still scarce. Recently, sporadic trials have been conducted in wound healing, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and herpes simplex infections, partly with purified single constituents and modern dermatological formulations. St. John's wort also has a potential for use in medical skin care. Composition and stability of pharmaceutical formulations vary greatly depending on origin of the plant material, production method, lipophilicity of solvents, and storage conditions, and this must be regarded with respect to practical as well as scientific purposes.
    Planta Medica 11/2013; · 2.35 Impact Factor
  • Ute Wölfle, Birgit Haarhaus, Christoph M Schempp
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    ABSTRACT: Ultraviolet radiation induces DNA damage and oxidative stress which can result in skin inflammation, photoaging, and photocarcinogenesis. The flavonoid luteolin that is present in high amounts in the dyers weld, Reseda luteola, is one of the most potent antioxidative plant metabolites and also has ultraviolet-absorbing properties.The aim of this study was to determine whether tocopherol and ubiquinone add synergistic antioxidative values to luteolin. None of the substances showed cytotoxic effects in concentrations from 0.25 to 4 µg/mL. The photoprotective and antioxidant effect of equivalent concentrations of luteolin, tocopherol, and ubiquinone and their combination in a ratio of 4 : 4 : 1 were studied in solar simulator irradiated human skin fibroblasts. Luteolin had a half-maximal radical scavenging concentration of 2 µg/mL, whereas tocopherol and ubiquinone were only effective at higher concentrations. None of the substances showed a phototoxic effect, and only luteolin had a moderate photoprotective effect at 2 µg/mL. The combination of luteolin, tocopherol, and ubiquinone exerted a synergistic radical scavenging effect already at a concentration of 0.25 µg/mL and a complete photoprotection at 2 µg/mL.In summary, our findings suggest that the potent antioxidant and photoprotective effect of flavonoids like luteolin may be further increased by the addition of low concentrations of other antioxidants such as tocopherol and ubiquinone.
    Planta Medica 07/2013; · 2.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mistletoe extracts are often used in complementary cancer therapy although the efficacy of that therapy is controversially discussed. Approved mistletoe extracts contain mainly water soluble compounds of the mistletoe plant, i.e. mistletoe lectins. However, mistletoe also contains water-insoluble triterpenoids (mainly oleanolic acid) that have anti-tumorigenic effects. To overcome their loss in watery extracts we have solubilized mistletoe triterpenoids with cyclodextrins, thus making them available for in vivo cancer experiments. B16.F10 subcutaneous melanoma bearing C57BL/6 mice were treated with new mistletoe extracts containing both water soluble compounds and solubilized triterpenoids. Tumor growth and survival was monitored. In addition, histological examinations of the tumor material and tumor surrounding tissue were performed. Addition of solubilized triterpenoids increased the anti-tumor effects of the mistletoe extracts, resulting in reduced tumor growth and prolonged survival of the mice. Histological examination of the treated tumors showed mainly tumor necrosis and some apoptotic cells with active caspase-3 and TUNEL staining. A significant decrease of CD31-positive tumor blood vessels was observed after treatment with solubilized triterpenoids and different mistletoe extracts. We conclude that the addition of solubilized mistletoe triterpenoids to conventional mistletoe extracts improves the efficacy of mistletoe treatment and may represent a novel treatment option for malignant melanoma.
    PLoS ONE 04/2013; 8(4):e62168. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Previous work has indicated that extracorporeal photochemotherapy (ECP) may be a safe and effective treatment in patients with severe atopic dermatitis. Methods: We performed a prospective study to investigate the effect of a defined 20-week ECP protocol in patients with severe, refractory atopic dermatitis. The patient inclusion criteria included (i) disease duration of at least 1 year, (ii) SCORAD > 45, and (iii) resistance to first-line therapy, including topical steroids, topical calcineurin inhibitors, and one form of phototherapy (UVA, UVB, or PUVA) or one second-line therapy, including systemic steroids or cyclosporine. Ten patients (4 women and 6 men; age range 29 to 61 years) were enrolled and treated with two sessions of standard ECP in 2-week intervals for 12 weeks and 4-week intervals thereafter until week 20. The patients' clinical status and response was determined by SCORAD at baseline and every 2 weeks, and quality of life was assessed every 4 weeks using SKINDEX, SF-36, and FACT scores. Results: There was a statistically significant (p = 0.015) reduction of the mean SCORAD by 10.3 (95% CI, 2.5 to 18.0) from 64.8 at baseline to 54.5 (i.e., 15.9% reduction) at week 20. In a subset of patients (all of female sex), the relative reduction in SCORAD after ECP was more than 25% at week 20. Improvement in quality of life measured by SKINDEX, SF-36, and FACT did not reach statistical significance. Conclusions: We detected a small but significant therapeutic effect of ECP in patients with severe, refractory atopic dermatitis.
    Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences 09/2012; · 2.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background. There is increasing evidence that reactive oxygen species play an important role in the development of both irritant and allergic contact dermatitis. Objectives. To assess the potential of topical antioxidants to prevent the development of experimentally induced irritant contact dermatitis. Methods. We evaluated the effect of a cream containing a combination of antioxidants on sodium lauryl sulfate-induced irritant contact dermatitis in the repetitive washing test. As readout parameters for skin barrier function and cutaneous inflammation stratum corneum hydration, cutaneous blood flow and transepidermal water loss were assessed in 25 volunteers with bioengineering methods. Results. In comparison with the cream base and a frequently used barrier cream, the antioxidant cream had high radical scavenging activity and effectively protected the skin from chemical-induced irritation. Conclusions. The superiority of the cream with antioxidants to the cream base suggests that reactive oxygen species, at least in part, play a role in the development of irritant contact dermatitis.
    Contact Dermatitis 05/2012; 67(4):234-237. · 2.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hyperforin, a major constituent of St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum, HP), provides anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, and anti-bacterial properties. Previous studies have shown anti-oxidative properties of St. John's Wort extracts; however, its free radical scavenging activity in skin cells or skin has not been assessed in detail so far. Therefore, the free radical scavenging activity of hyperforin was tested in the H(2)DCFDA-assay in vitro in HaCaT keratinocytes irradiated with solar simulated radiation. Hyperforin (EC(50) 0.7 μM corresponding to 0.42 μg/ml) was much more effective compared to Trolox (EC(50) 12 μg/ml) and N-acetylcysteine (EC(50) 847 μg/ml) without showing phototoxicity. The radical protection factor of a cream containing 1.5%w/w of a hyperforin-rich HP extract was determined to be 200 × 10(14) radicals/mg, indicating a high radical scavenging activity. The cream was further applied ex vivo on porcine ear skin and significantly reduced radical formation after infrared irradiation. Finally, the UV-protective effect of the HP cream was tested on 20 volunteers in a randomized, double-blind, vehicle-controlled study. HP cream significantly reduced UVB-induced erythema as opposed to the vehicle. Occlusive application of HP cream on non-irradiated test sites did not cause any skin irritation. Taken together, these results demonstrate that hyperforin is a powerful free radical scavenger.
    European journal of pharmaceutics and biopharmaceutics: official journal of Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Pharmazeutische Verfahrenstechnik e.V 03/2012; 81(2):346-50. · 3.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The European mistletoe Viscum album L. is a plant used for remedies in cancer treatment. The benefit of commonly used aqueous extracts is controversial but the plant contains water insoluble triterpene acids providing interesting anticancer properties. Triterpene extracts (TE) from plants and single triterpenoids such as oleanolic acid (OA) or betulinic acid (BA) are known for their cytotoxic effects on cancer cell lines in vitro. We report here cytotoxic effects of a novel OA-rich triterpene extract from mistletoe (V. album L., Santalaceae) solubilized by 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (2-HP-β-CD) on B16.F10 mouse melanoma cells. The 2-HP-β-CD solubilized triterpene extract (STE) was highly cytotoxic by causing DNA fragmentation, followed by loss of membrane integrity and intracellular adenosine-5'-triphosphate (ATP). Blocking the caspase machinery by inhibitors aborted DNA fragmentation and delayed the cytotoxic effects but did not prevent cell death. The solubilization by 2-HP-β-CD allows a solvent-free application of triterpene extracts in the in vitro setting. These findings suggest the use of STE from mistletoe as a solvent-free anticancer drug for preclinical animal experiments and clinical trials. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Phytotherapy Research 02/2012; 26(10):1507-12. · 2.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Human skin is continuously exposed to solar radiation, which can result in photoaging, a process involving both dermal and, to a lesser extent, epidermal structures. Previously, we have shown that the flavonoid luteolin protects the epidermis from ultraviolet (UV)-induced damage by a combination of UV-absorbing, antioxidant, and antiinflammatory properties. The aim of the present study was to determine direct and indirect effects of luteolin on dermal fibroblasts as major targets of photoaging. Stimulation of fibroblasts with UVA light or the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-20 (IL-20) is associated with wrinkled skin, increased IL-6 secretion, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP-1) expression, and hyaluronidase activity. All of these targets were inhibited by luteolin via interference with the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. Next, we assessed the role of conditioned supernatants from keratinocytes irradiated with solar-simulated radiation (SSR) on nonirradiated dermal fibroblasts. In keratinocytes, luteolin inhibited SSR-induced production of IL-20, also via interference with the p38 MAPK pathway. Similarly, keratinocyte supernatant-induced IL-6 and MMP-1 expression in fibroblasts was reduced by pretreatment of keratinocytes with luteolin. Finally, these results were confirmed ex vivo on skin explants treated with luteolin before UV irradiation. Our results suggest that SSR-mediated production of soluble factors in keratinocytes is modulated by luteolin and may attenuate photoaging in dermal fibroblasts.
    Rejuvenation Research 01/2012; 15(5):466-475. · 2.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) represents a severe health problem with increasing worldwide prevalence. It is a T cell-mediated skin disease induced by protein-reactive organic and inorganic chemicals. A key feature of contact allergens is their ability to trigger an innate immune response that leads to skin inflammation. Previous evidence from the mouse contact hypersensitivity (CHS) model suggests a role for endogenous activators of innate immune signaling. Here, we analyzed the role of contact sensitizer induced ROS production and concomitant changes in hyaluronic acid metabolism on CHS responses. We analyzed in vitro and in vivo ROS production using fluorescent ROS detection reagents. HA fragmentation was determined by gel electrophoresis. The influence of blocking ROS production and HA degradation by antioxidants, hyaluronidase-inhibitor or p38 MAPK inhibitor was analyzed in the murine CHS model. Here, we demonstrate that organic contact sensitizers induce production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and a concomitant breakdown of the extracellular matrix (ECM) component hyaluronic acid (HA) to pro-inflammatory low molecular weight fragments in the skin. Importantly, inhibition of either ROS-mediated or enzymatic HA breakdown prevents sensitization as well as elicitation of CHS. These data identify an indirect mechanism of contact sensitizer induced innate inflammatory signaling involving the breakdown of the ECM and generation of endogenous danger signals. Our findings suggest a beneficial role for anti-oxidants and hyaluronidase inhibitors in prevention and treatment of ACD.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(7):e41340. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Combudoron, composed of extracts from arnica and stinging nettle, is used for the treatment of partial thickness burns and insect bites in Europe. Because clinical investigations are lacking we wanted to investigate its efficacy in partial thickness burns. Two individuals performed a self experiment: 4 experimental grade 2 burns (each 1 cm(2)) on the back were induced respectively with an erbium YAG-laser. Wounds were treated with Combudoron gel, Combudoron liquid, placebo gel or placebo liquid in each of the subjects in a standardized, single blind manner. Outcome parameters were the photo documented duration of wound healing and visual analogue scale (VAS) pain scores. All 8 experimental burns were similar from size and depth at baseline. Eschars of the verum-treated burns fell off earlier than the placebo-treated burns (verum liquid: after 14 and 19 days compared to 17 and 27 days with placebo liquid. Verum gel: after 16 and 22 days compared to 18 and 28 days with placebo gel). Eschars of the liquid treated burns fell off earlier than of the gel treated burns. Pain scores were not applicable because they were low and differences between the lesions could not be discriminated on the back. Combudoron seems to have positive effects on healing of grade 2 laser induced burns which deserve further investigation.
    Complementary therapies in medicine 10/2011; 19(5):276-80. · 1.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this work was to determine the antibacterial activity of essential coriander oil (ECO) on bacteria with dermatological relevance and to assess the skin tolerance of antimicrobial effective ECO concentrations. Essential coriander oil was tested on clinical isolates of different bacteria species, all of which may cause superficial skin infections. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed using a standardized macrodilution test. Essential coriander oil showed good antibacterial activity towards the majority of the bacterial strains tested, including Streptococcus pyogenes (Lancefield group A) and methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), with mean minimal inhibitory concentrations of 0.04% v/v and 0.25% v/v, respectively. The skin tolerance of a cream and a lotion containing 0.5% and 1.0% ECO was assessed in 40 healthy volunteers using the occlusive patch test. No skin irritation could be observed by sensitive photometric assessment in any of the volunteers. Because of its activity against Streptococcus pyogenes, Staphylococcus aureus and MRSA combined with excellent skin tolerance, ECO might be useful as an antiseptic for the prevention and treatment of skin infections with Gram-positive bacteria.
    Phytotherapy Research 08/2011; 26(3):420-4. · 2.07 Impact Factor
  • F Casetti, U Wölfle, W Gehring, C M Schempp
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    ABSTRACT: Dry skin is associated with a disturbed skin barrier and reduced formation of epidermal proteins and lipids. During recent years, skin-barrier-reinforcing properties of some botanical compounds have been described. Searching the PubMed database revealed 9 botanical extracts that specifically improve skin barrier and/or promote keratinocyte differentiation in vivo after topical application. The topical application of Aloe vera (leaf gel), Betula alba (birch bark extract), Helianthus annuus (sunflower oleodistillate), Hypericum perforatum (St. John's wort extract), Lithospermum erythrorhizon (root extract), Piptadenia colubrina (angico-branco extract) and Simarouba amara (bitter wood extract) increased skin hydration, reduced the transepidermal water loss, or promoted keratinocyte differentiation in humans in vivo. The topical application of Rubia cordifolia root extract and rose oil obtained from Rosa spp. flowers stimulated keratinocyte differentiation in mouse models. The underlying mechanisms of these effects are discussed. It is concluded that some botanical compounds display skin-barrier-reinforcing properties that may be used in dermocosmetics for dry skin. However, more investigations on the mode of action and more vehicle-controlled studies are required.
    Skin pharmacology and physiology 06/2011; 24(6):289-93. · 2.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation may cause an immediate inflammatory response followed by a delayed increase in skin pigmentation. The early time course of erythema and pigmentation has so far not been monitored simultaneously by photometric measurements. Test areas on the volar forearms of 15 volunteers were irradiated with 210 mJ/cm(2) UVB. Skin erythema and pigmentation were determined photometrically at time 0, after 6 h, and after 1, 2, 3 and 7 days. Punch biopsies were taken before irradiation, after 6 h and after 7 days. Melanocytes were stained using the DOPA method. UVB irradiation caused an increase in skin erythema at all time points, peaking at 24 h and slowly decreasing until day 7. Surprisingly, this was associated with a pronounced decrease in skin pigmentation at early readings. DOPA staining of melanocytes confirmed this observation. Only after 7 days was there an increase in skin pigmentation over the initial levels. Acute UVB-induced skin erythema seems to be associated with increased susceptibility to the deleterious effects of solar radiation due to a concomitant decrease in skin pigmentation. These findings underline the importance of avoiding even moderate sunburns and of slowly adapting the skin to solar radiation.
    Skin pharmacology and physiology 01/2011; 24(3):160-5. · 2.89 Impact Factor
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    Phytomedicine. 01/2011; 18.
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    Phytomedicine. 01/2011; 18.
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    ABSTRACT: Ultraviolet (UV) radiation induces DNA damage, oxidative stress, and inflammatory processes in human keratinocytes resulting in skin inflammation, photoaging, and photocarcinogenesis. The flavonoid luteolin is one of the most potent antioxidative plant polyphenols. We investigated the UV protective and antioxidant properties of luteolin in human keratinocytes in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo. Spectrophotometric measurements revealed extinction maxima of luteolin in the UVB and UVA range. UV transmission below 370 nm was <10%. In human skin, luteolin effectively reduced the formation of UVB-induced cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers. The free radical scavenging activity of luteolin was assessed in various cell-free and cell-based assays. In the cell-free DPPH assay the half-maximal effective concentration (EC₅₀) of luteolin (12 μg/ml) was comparable to those of Trolox (25 μg/ml) and N-acetylcysteine (32 μg/ml). In contrast, in the H₂DCFDA assay performed with UVB-irradiated keratinocytes, luteolin (EC₅₀ 3 μg/ml) was much more effective compared to Trolox (EC₅₀ 12 μg/ml) and N-acetylcysteine (EC₅₀ 847 μg/ml). Luteolin also inhibited both UVB-induced skin erythema and the upregulation of cyclooxygenase-2 and prostaglandin E₂ production in human skin via interference with the MAPK pathway. These data suggest that luteolin may protect human skin from UVB-induced damage by a combination of UV-absorbing, DNA-protective, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.
    Free radical biology & medicine 01/2011; 50(9):1081-93. · 5.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Psoriasis is a characteristic inflammatory and scaly skin condition with typical histopathological features including increased proliferation and hampered differentiation of keratinocytes. The activation of innate and adaptive inflammatory cellular immune responses is considered to be the main trigger factor of the epidermal changes in psoriatic skin. However, the molecular players that are involved in enhanced proliferation and impaired differentiation of psoriatic keratinocytes are only partly understood. One important factor that regulates differentiation on the cellular level is Ca(2+). In normal epidermis, a Ca(2+) gradient exists that is disturbed in psoriatic plaques, favoring impaired keratinocyte proliferation. Several TRPC channels such as TRPC1, TRPC4, or TRPC6 are key proteins in the regulation of high [Ca(2+)](ex) induced differentiation. Here, we investigated if TRPC channel function is impaired in psoriasis using calcium imaging, RT-PCR, western blot analysis and immunohistochemical staining of skin biopsies. We demonstrated substantial defects in Ca(2+) influx in psoriatic keratinocytes in response to high extracellular Ca(2+) levels, associated with a downregulation of all TRPC channels investigated, including TRPC6 channels. As TRPC6 channel activation can partially overcome this Ca(2+) entry defect, specific TRPC channel activators may be potential new drug candidates for the topical treatment of psoriasis.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(2):e14716. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper continues our review of scientifically evaluated plant extracts in dermatology. After plants effective against dermatophytes, botanicals with anti-edema effects in chronic venous insufficiency are discussed. There is good evidence from randomized clinical studies that plant extracts from grape vine leaves (Vitis vinifera), horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum), sea pine (Pinus maritima) and butcher's broom (Ruscus aculeatus) can reduce edema in chronic venous insufficiency. Plant extracts from witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana), green tea (Camellia sinensis), the fern Polypodium leucotomos and others contain antioxidant polyphenolic compounds that may protect the skin from sunburn and photoaging when administered topically or systemically. Extracts from the garden spurge (Euphorbia peplus) and from birch bark (Betula alba) have been shown to be effective in the treatment of actinic keratoses in phase II studies. Some plant extracts have also been investigated in the treatment of vitiligo, various forms of hair loss and pigmentation disorders, and in aesthetic dermatology.
    Journal der Deutschen Dermatologischen Gesellschaft 11/2010; 8(11):866-73. · 1.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Plant extracts and isolated compounds are increasingly used in cosmetics and food supplements to improve skin conditions. We first introduce the positive plant monographs with dermatological relevance of the former German Commission E. Subsequently clinical studies with botanicals for atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, acne, condylomata acuminata and herpes simplex are discussed. The best studies have been conducted with atopic dermatitis and psoriasis patients. Mahonia aquifolium, Hypericum perforatum, Glycyrrhiza glabra and certain traditional Chinese therapies have been shown to be effective in the treatment of atopic dermatitis. Mahonia aquifolium, Indigo naturalis and Capsicum frutescens are effective treatments for psoriasis. Green tea extract and tea tree oil have been investigated in the treatment of acne. Podophyllin and green tea extract are effective treatments for condylomata acuminata. Balm mint and a combination of sage and rhubarb have been shown to be effective in the treatment of herpes simplex in proof of concept studies.
    Journal der Deutschen Dermatologischen Gesellschaft 10/2010; 8(10):788-96. · 1.40 Impact Factor
  • Journal der Deutschen Dermatologischen Gesellschaft 09/2010; 8(10):788 - 796. · 1.40 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

893 Citations
236.50 Total Impact Points


  • 2007–2013
    • Carl Gustav Carus-Institut
      Pforzheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 1996–2013
    • Universitätsklinikum Freiburg
      • Department of Dermatology and Venereology
      Freiburg, Lower Saxony, Germany
  • 2012
    • Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin
      • Department of Dermatology, Venerology and Allergology
      Berlin, Land Berlin, Germany
  • 1997–2012
    • University of Freiburg
      Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 1997–2005
    • Universitäts-Herzzentrum Freiburg - Bad Krozingen
      باد کروزینگن, Baden-Württemberg, Germany