Lukas Sommer joined the Institute of Anatomy in 2007. He is a full professor holding a double affiliation with the Faculty of Medicine and the Science Faculty of the University of Zurich.
His research focuses primarily on neural crest development and stem cell populations within that lineage. Moreover, his studies address how embryonic programs related to neural crest development are hijacked and used in the adult organism during tumorigenesis and in tissue regeneration.
Lukas Sommer studied biology at the University of Basel and obtained his PhD from the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC), Epalinges/Lausanne in 1992. He started his work on neural crest stem cells during his postdoctoral studies at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, USA. In 1997, Lukas Sommer moved back to Switzerland and became research group leader at the Institute of Cell Biology of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ), where he received an SNF assistant professorship for Cell and Developmental Biology in 2001.
Funding sources for his research projects include the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Swiss Cancer Research Foundation, the University Research Priority Project "Translational Cancer Research", and diverse private, non-profit foundations.
Lukas Sommer is also co-director of SKINTEGRITY.CH, a research initiative that brings together experts from multiple disciplines with the aim to better understand, diagnose and treat acute and chronic skin defects and malignant skin diseases.