Skip to content

Christina Guttmann-Gruber, PhD

Group Leader WG Piñón/Gruber

Research statement

My main scientific interests focus on the development of strategies to target epidermoylsis bullosa-associated skin cancer. Herein our primary goal is to improve wound healing using substances like vitamin D with known wound healing properties in order to reduce the risk of malignant transfromation in these areas.
Furthermore we evaluate new cancer therapy approaches such as cancer immunotherapies or a trans-splicing mediated suicide gene therapy strategy to fight this aggressive tumor.
Most recent we are also focusing on the skin microbiome of EB patients and its influence on wound healing and the development of skin cancer.

Curriculum Vitae Christina Guttmann-Gruber

Professional Career

Since 2014
Co-Group leader
at the EB House Austria

2009 - 2014
im EB-Haus Austria, Labor für Molekulare Therapie



in Natural Sciences, Paris Lodron University of Salzburg, Austria
"A suicide gene therapy approach to treat Epidermolysis bullosa-associated skin cancer"
Research gropup: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Johann W. Bauer (EB House Austria)

Genetics and Biotechnology, Paris Lodron University of Salzburg, Austria
"Evaluation of parenteral and non-parenteral genetic vaccination approaches"
Research group: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Josef Thalhamer

Genetics and Molecular Biology, Paris Lodron University of Salzburg, Austria


Awards and Fellowships

2016 Travel grant to attend 2nd Inflammatory Skin Disease Summit, NYC, USA,
2015 Paracelsus Medical University Science Award-Bronze
2014 Sanofi Prize for Medical Research (Sanofi-aventis)
2013 Non-melanoma skin cancer prize (Meda Pharma)
2013 Paracelsus Medical University Science Award-Bronze
2011 Paracelsus Medical University Science Award-Bronze
2011 Isidor-Neumann poster-prize from the Austrian Society for Dermatology and Venerology Paracelsus Medical University Science Award-Bronze
2009 Anton Luger Award for doctorial thesis from the Austrian Society for Dermatology and Venerology


International Research Experience

July/August 2003 Scientific internship at Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin Group of Prof. Sylvia Krobitsch;
Research field: Identification of interaction partners of Ataxin-2


Additional Qualifications/Training

2016 Clinical study-coordination: CALCIDEB2016 (EudraCt-Nr:2016-001967-35)
2015/2014 Attendance at workshops: "Applying at ethics committee and authorities", "Organizing and writing of clinical study protocols", "Good Clinical Practice - Introduction in Clinical Trials", Clinical Research Center Salzburg (CRCS)

Original Articles

  1. Mayr E, Ablinger M, Lettner T, Murauer EM, Guttmann-Gruber C, Piñón Hofbauer J, Hainzl S, Kaiser M, Klausegger A, Bauer JW, Koller U, Wally V. 5’ RNA Trans-Splicing Repair of COL7A1 Mutant Transcripts in Epidermolysis bullosa. Int J Mol Sci 2022, 23(3):1732.
  2. Zauner R, Wimmer M, Dorfer S, Ablinger M, Koller U, Piñón Hofbauer J, Guttmann-Gruber C, Bauer JW, Wally V. Transcriptome-Guided Drug Repurposing for Aggressive SCCs. International journal of molecular sciences 2022;23:1007
  3. Guttmann-Gruber C, Piñón Hofbauer J, Tockner B, Reichl V, Klausegger A, Hofbauer P, Wolkersdorfer M, Tham KC, Lim SS, Common JE, Diem A, Ude-Schoder K, Hitzl W, Lagler F, Reichelt J, Bauer JW, Lang R, Laimer M. Impact of low-dose calcipotriol ointment on wound healing, pruritus and pain in patients with dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Orphanet J Rare Dis 2021;16:473.
  4. Fuentes I, Guttmann-Gruber C, Tockner B, Diem A, Klausegger A, Cofré-Araneda G, Figuera O, Hidalgo Y, Morandé P, Palisson F, Rebolledo-Jaramillo B, Yubero MJ, Cho RJ, Rishel HI, Marinkovich MP, Teng JMC, Webster TG, Prisco M, Eraso LH, Piñon Hofbauer J, South AP. Cells from discarded dressings differentiate chronic from acute wounds in patients with Epidermolysis Bullosa. Scientific reports 2020;10:15064.
  5. Wimmer M, Zauner R, Ablinger M, Piñón-Hofbauer J, Guttmann-Gruber C, Reisenberger M, Lettner T, Niklas N, Proell J, Sajinovic M, De Souza P, Hainzl S, Kocher T, Murauer EM, Bauer JW, Strunk D, Reichelt J, Mellick AS, Wally V. A cancer stem cell-like phenotype is associated with miR-10b expression in aggressive squamous cell carcinomas. Cell Commun Signal 2020;18:61
  6. Kocher T, Wagner RN, Klausegger A, Guttmann-Gruber C, Hainzl S, Bauer JW, Reichelt J, Koller U. Improved Double-Nicking Strategies for COL7A1-Editing by Homologous Recombination. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids 2019;18:496-507
  7. March OP, Lettner T, Klausegger A, Ablinger M, Kocher T, Hainzl S, Peking P, Lackner N, Rajan N, Hofbauer JP, Guttmann-Gruber C, Bygum A, Koller U, Reichelt J.  Gene editing-mediated disruption of epidermolytic ichthyosis-associated KRT10 alleles restores filament stability in keratinocytes. J Invest Dermatol. 2019 Aug;139(8):1699-1710.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2019.03.1146. Epub 2019 Apr 15.
  8. Sun Y, Pinon Hofbauer J, Harada M, Woss K, Koller U, Morio H, Stierschneider A, Kitamura K, Hashimoto M, Chiba K, Akita H, Anzai N, Reichelt J, Bauer JW, Guttmann-Gruber C*, Furihata T*. Cancer-type organic anion transporting polypeptide 1B3 is a target for cancer suicide gene therapy using RNA trans-splicing technology. Cancer Lett 2018;433:107-16. *equally contributing authors
  9. Fuentes I*, Guttmann-Gruber C*, Tay AS*, Pinon Hofbauer J, Denil S, Reichelt J, Palisson F, Common JE, South AP. Reduced microbial diversity is a feature of recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa involved skin and wounds. J Invest Dermatol 2018 accepted manuscript. *equally contributing authors
  10. Morio H, Sun Y, Harada M, Ide H, Shimozato O, Higashi K, Yuki R, Yamaguchi N, Piñón Hofbauer J, Guttmann-Gruber C, Anzai N, Akita H, Chiba K, Furihata T. Cancer-type OATP1B3 mRNA in extracellular vesicles as a promising candidate for a serum-based colorectal cancer biomarker. Biol Pharm Bull 2018;41:445-9.
  11. Sun Y, Woess K, Kienzl M, Leb-Reichl VM, Feinle A, Wimmer M, Zauner R, Wally V, Luetz-Meindl U, Mellerio JE, Fuentes I, South AO, Bauer JW, Reichelt J, Furihata T, Guttmann-Gruber C*, Piñón Hofbauer J*. Extracellular vesicles as biomarker for the detection of a tumor marker gene in epidermolysis bullosa-associated squamous cell carcinoma. J Invest Dermatol 2018;138(5):1197-200. *equally contributing authors
  12. Atanasova VS, Jiang Q, Prisco M, Gruber C, Piñón Hofbauer J, Chen M, Has C, Bruckner-Tuderman L, McGrath JA, Uitto J, South AP. Amlexanox enhances premature termination codon read-through in COL7A1 and expression of full length type VII collagen: potential therapy for recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. J Invest Dermatol 2017;137:1842-9.
  13. Breitenbach JS, Gruber C, Klausegger A, Trost A, Bogner B, Reitsamer H, Bauer JW. Pseudosyndactyly - an inflammatory and fibrotic wound healing disorder in recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. J Dtsch Dermatol Ges 2015; 13: 1257-66.
  14. Breitenbach JS, Rinnerthaler M, Trost A, Weber M, Klausegger A, Gruber C, Bruckner D, Reitsamer HA, Bauer JW, Breitenbach M. Transcriptome and ultrastructural changes in dystrophic Epidermolysis bullosa resemble skin aging. Aging 2015; 7:389-411.
  15. Koller U, Hainzl S, Kocher T, Hüttner C, Klausegger A, Gruber C, Mayr E, Wally V, Bauer JW, Murauer EM. Trans-splicing improvement by the combined application of antisense strategies. Int J Mol Sci 2015, 16:1179-91.
  16. Gruber C*, Koller U*, Murauer EM, Hainzl S, Hüttner C, Kocher T, South AP, Hintner H, Bauer JW. The design and optimization of RNA trans-splicing molecules for skin cancer therapy. Mol Oncol 2013; 7:1056-8.*equally contributing authors
  17. Knaup J, Verwanger T, Gruber C, Ziegler V, Bauer JW, Krammer B. Epidermolysis bullosa - a group of skin diseases with different causes but commonalities in gene expression. Exp Dermatol 2012; 21:526-30.
  18. Ettinger M, Gratz IK, Gruber C, Johnson T, Mahnke K, Hauser-Kronberger C, Thalhamer J, Hintner H, Peckl-Schmid D, Bauer JW. Targeting of the hNC16A collagen domain to dendritic cells induces tolerance to human type XVII collagen. Exp Dermatol 2012;21:395-8.
  19. Ettinger M, Peckl-Schmid D, Gruber C, Laimer M, Thalhamer J, Hintner H, Gratz IK, Bauer JW. Transcutaneous gene gun delivery of NC16A induces BPAG2-specific tolerance. J Invest Dermatol 2012; 132:1665-71.
  20. Knaup J, Gruber C, Krammer B, Ziegler V, Bauer J and Verwanger T. TGF-βsignaling in squamous cell carcinoma occurring in recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. Anal Cell Pathol (Amst.) 2011;34:339-53.
  21. Koller U, Wally V, Mitchell L, Klausegger A, Murauer EM, Mayr E, Gruber C, Hainzl S, Hintner H and Bauer JW. A novel screening system improves genetic correction by internal exon replacement. Nuc Acid Res 2011; 39:e108.
  22. Gruber C, Gratz IK, Murauer EM, Mayr E, Bruckner-Tuderman L, Meneguzzi G, Hintner H and Bauer JW. Spliceosome-mediated RNA trans-splicing facilitates targeted delivery of suicide genes to cancer cells. Mol Canc Ther 2011;10: 233-41.
  23. Murauer EM, Gache Y, Gratz IK, Klausegger A, Muss W, Gruber C, Meneguzzi G, Hintner H, Bauer JW. Functional Correction of Type VII Collagen Expression in Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa. J Invest Dermatol 2011;131:74-83.
  24. Scheiblhofer S, Stoecklinger A, Gruber C, Hauser-Kronberger C, Alinger B, Hammerl P, Thalhamer J, Weiss R. Gene gun immunization with clinically relevant allergens aggravates allergen induced pathology and is contraindicated for allergen immunotherapy. Mol Immunol 2007; 44:1879-87.
  25. Bauer R, Scheiblhofer S, Kern K, Gruber C, Stepanoska T, Thalhamer T, Hauser-Kronberger C, Alinger B, Zoegg T, Gabler M, Ferreira F, Hartl A, Thalhamer J, Weiss R. Generation of hypoallergenic DNA vaccines by forced ubiquitination: preventive and therapeutic effects in a mouse model of allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2006; 118:269-76.

Book Chapters

  1. Piñón Hofbauer J, Wally V, Guttmann-Gruber C, Gratz IK, Koller U. Therapy Development for Epidermolysis Bullosa [Online First].  Rare Diseases: Intechopen; 2021.


  1. Hainzl S, Guttmann-Gruber C. Innovative Methoden zur Probengewinnung bei Epidermolysis-bullosa-Patienten. Spectrum Dermatologie 2021;01:26-8.
  2. Guttmann-Gruber C, Bauer JW, Piñón Hofbauer J. Hereditary bullous diseases: current and innovative models to study the skin blistering disease epidermolysis bullosa. Drug Discovery Today: Disease Models 2020.

Scientific Commentary

  1. Gruber C*, Piñón Hofbauer J*, Bauer JW. Can we be SMaRT-er in our way to cancer therapy? Ebiomed 2015; 9;2(7):621-2. *equally contributing authors


  1. Guttmann-Gruber C, Tockner B, Scharler C, Hüttner C, Common JE, Tay ASL, Denil SLIJ, Klausegger A, Trost A, Breitenbach J, Schnitzhofer P, Hofbauer JP, Wolkersdorfer M, Diem A, Laimer M, Strunk D, Bauer JW, Reichelt J, Lang R, Pinon Hofbauer J. VD3-Analog Calcipotriol verbessert Wundheilungsprozess. Spectrum Dermatologie 2019;02/2019.

2010 - present
Supervision of 3 PhD students, 3 Master and 3 Bachelor students

Back to main navigation