Professor Martin Steinhoff, M.D., Ph.D., M.Sc.

Professor in Dermatology, UCD School of Medicine

Research Expertise

Neuroimmunology of skin diseases: a translational approach
The task of my research is to understand the cross-communication between two important body systems: the nervous and immune systems and, in particular, the role of the sensory nervous system in skin inflammation (atopic dermatitis, rosacea) and itch (pruritus). References: Steinhoff M et al. Nature Med 2000; J Neurosci 2003; Seeliger S et al. FASEB J 2003; Am J Pathol 2010; Frateschi S et al. Nature Comm 2011; Liu et al. Science Sig 2011

As a clinical dermatologist as well as a basic scientist by training (DMSc, PhD in Human biology), I aim to understand the molecular mechanisms that control skin inflammation and itch or pain with a focus on neuronal cytokine receptors, proteases and neuropeptide receptors. Itch or pruritus, is a significant unmet need, and recent publications about this subject in journals such as Cell, Science, Nature and Journal of Clinical Investigation document the importance of understanding the molecular mechanisms of pruritus.


Clinical: Complex general dermatology, atopic dermatitis, pruritus/itch; rosacea/acne; wound healing (2003-2009); dermatological oncology (1999-2006); sclerotherapy and foam sclerozation therapy (2003-09), translation of genomics from basic science to clinic, translational medicine.

Basic science: Neuroimmunology, inflammation, pruritus, G protein-coupled receptor signalling, neuropeptide receptors, protease-activated receptors, transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels, peptidases; non-melanoma skin cancer, cytokine receptors, signal transduction, genomics, confocal laser scan microscopy.

Prof Steinhoff's Team 2016

The Steinhoff Team, January 2016

My research team currently comprises 2 postdoctoral fellows, 2 PhD students. My clinical team comprises a clinical research fellow.

Postdoctoral Fellows



Dr Charles Metais, Postdoctoral Research Fellow‌

Dr Charles Metais, Postdoctoral Research FellowProject: Potential targets for the treatment of psoriasis | Neuroimmune mechanisms in psoriasis. Pustular psoriasis (PP) is an extremely severe form of psoriasis that can be life-threatening and does not respond to current therapies. Recent investigations on PP patients have highlighted the involvement of a new cytokine. Using molecular and biochemical tools we are developing a new biologic to target this protein and its signalling in vivo and in vitro.

Funding: SFI-Pfizer Biotherapeutics Innovation Award







PhD Students

Leila Smith, PhD Student

Ms Leila Smith, PhD StudentProject: Neuroimmune communication in the skin; molecular mechanisms of neuroinflammation and pruritus.

Funding: SFI Investigators Award