Lukas Sommer joined as full professor the Institute of Anatomy in 2007. He holds a double affiliation with the UZH Faculty of Medicine and Science Faculty, respectively.
His research focuses primarily on neural crest development and stem cell populations within that lineage. More recently, his studies elucidate the development of tumors originating from neural crest derivatives, like melanoma.
Lukas Sommer studied biology at the University of Basel. Thereafter, he 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 and at the Division of Biology of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 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, such as the Vontobel Foundation.
Lukas Sommer is co-chair of SKINTEGRITY - a flagship project of "University Medicine Zurich", which brings together experts in multiple disciplines with the aim to better understand, diagnose and treat acute and chronic skin defects and fibrotic skin diseases. Since its initiation in 2016, SKINTEGRITY has been highly successful and we therefore aim to make this collaborative research project sustainable, to extend it to other Swiss universities and research institutions and to include major inflammatory skin diseases and skin cancer (SKINNOVATION project initiative (PDF, 4814 KB)).