As part of a study that received significant funding from CK-CARE, scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum in Munich and the Technische Universität München have discovered a new mechanism that explains how non-allergenic pollen constituents can exacerbate allergies. The so-called B cells play a crucial role in this mechanism. Until now, it has been assumed that the dendritic cells were primarily responsible for any allergy-promoting effects by non-allergenic plant constituents. The newly discovered mechanism relating to B cells therefore presents a new viewpoint on this subject and offers new approaches for the development of therapies in allergic diseases.
“Since the prevalence of pollen constituents may also depend on climatic factors, we, together with the Institute of Biochemical Plant Pathology (BIOP), intend to continue monitoring whether changing climatic conditions are exerting an influence on the B-cell mediated allergenicity of pollen,” explains Prof. Claudia Traidl-Hoffmann, Director of CK-CARE.
On 1 October 2020, Claudio Rhyner succeeded Dr. Georg Schäppi as Managing Director of CK-CARE. Georg Schäppi was appointed CEO at the University Children’s Hospital Zurich as of 1 December, 2020.
Claudio Rhyner was born and grew up in Davos. After studying chemistry and molecular biology, he graduated specialising in asthma and allergy research. He was active in fundamental scientific research, including as head of the research “Vaccine Development” group at the SIAF (Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research). In this capacity he published numerous publications and filed several patents. After holding a leading position in a SME in molecular diagnostics, he became CEO of Biosciences Davos. Biosciences Davos is a spin-off organisation of CK-CARE in the field of biobanking and is part of the Medizincampus Davos. He continues to hold this position.
In his private life, Claudio Rhyner is actively engaged in politics and culture in the Davos community. He also completed a postgraduate degree in the field of management of small and medium-sized companies at the University St. Gallen.