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Leopold Eckhart
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Leopold Eckhart

Department of Dermatology
Position: Associate Professor

ORCID: 0000-0002-5645-2036
T +43 1 40400 73735

Further Information


Apoptosis; Autophagy; Caspases; Endonucleases; Epidermis; Evolution, Molecular; Genomics; Keratinocytes; Keratins; Skin; Skin Diseases

Research group(s)

  • Skin Biology - Leopold Eckhart
    Head: Leopold Eckhart
    Research Area: • Barrier function of the skin • Enzymatic control of epidermal cornification • Evolution and comparative genomics of the skin and skin appendages • Mechanisms of programmed cell death • Autophagy in tissue homeostasis and stress responses

Research interests

  • Barrier function of the skin
  • Evolution of the skin
  • Programmed cell death
  • Autophagy
  • Genomics

Techniques, methods & infrastructure

  • Comparative genomics
  • Targeted gene deletions in animal models
  • In vitro models of human skin
  • Molecular biological, biochemical and immunohistochemical techniques


Selected publications

  1. Carron M, Sachslehner AP, et al. (2024) Evolutionary origin of Hoxc13-dependent skin appendages in amphibians. Nature Communications 15(1), 2328. Available at:
  2. Feng, S. et al. (2020) Dense sampling of bird diversity increases power of comparative genomics. Nature, 587(7833), pp. 252-257. Available at:
  3. Strasser, B. et al. (2014) Evolutionary origin and diversification of epidermal barrier proteins in amniotes. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 31(12), pp.3194-3205. Available at:
  4. Fischer, H. et al. (2011) ‘Essential Role of the Keratinocyte-Specific Endonuclease DNase1L2 in the Removal of Nuclear DNA from Hair and Nails’, Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 131(6), pp. 1208–1215. Available at:
  5. Eckhart, L. et al. (2008) Identification of reptilian genes encoding hair keratin-like proteins suggests a new scenario for the evolutionary origin of hair. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(47), pp.18419-18423. Available at: