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Roland Zauner, PhD


Scientific interest

Our group is interested in mechanisms of epigenetic regulation in EB. We strive to deepen our understanding of cellular processes promoting the development of a particularly aggressive form of squamous cell carcinoma affecting our patients. We found a difference in abundance of certain miRNAs by next generation sequencing in RDEB-SCCs, which are considered to be linked with increased mobility of cancer cells. Our goal is to demonstrate an association of de-regulated miRNAs and an aggressive phenotype of cancer cells via functional assays. On the long term we strive to translate our improved understanding of pathomechanisms into new therapeutic options based on small molecules.

Personal interest

music, travelling

Curriculum Vitae Roland Zauner

Professional career

Since 2015
Research Associate at the EB House Austria


Academic carrer

Since 2016
PhD studies, Paris Lodron University Salzburg
"Bioinformatic and functional exploration of microRNAs in RDEB"
Research group: Dr. Verena Wally

MSc in Molecular Biology, Paris Lodron University Salzburg/Johannes Kepler University Linz
"Epigenetic expression-profiling of recessive-dystrophic epidermoysis bullosa patient cell lines"
Research group: Dr. Verena Wally

BSc in Molecular Biology at the Paris Lodron University Salzburg/Johannes Kepler University Linz


Research visits and fellowships

2014 Garvan Institute, Neuroscience Division / Sydney, Australia
2014 Abroad Fellowship - Paris Lodron University Salzburg
2013 Excellence Scholarship - Paris Lodron University Salzburg


Additional qualifications/training

TEM training
Animal Handling
Training in electrical engineering

Original Articles

  1. Illmer J, Zauner R, Piñón Hofbauer J, Wimmer M, Gruner S, Ablinger M, Bischof J, Dorfer S, Hainzl S, Tober V, Bergson S, Sarig O, Samuelov L, Guttmann-Gruber C, Shalom-Feuerstein R, Sprecher E, Koller U, Laimer M, Bauer JW, Wally V. miR-200b-mediated reversion of a spectrum of epithelial to mesenchymal transition states in recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa squamous cell carcinomas. The British journal of dermatology 2023.
  2. Zauner R, Wimmer M, Atzmueller S, Proell J, Niklas N, Ablinger M, Reisenberger M, Lettner T, Illmer J, Dorfer S, Koller U, Guttmann-Gruber C, Hofbauer JP, Bauer JW, Wally V. Biomarker Discovery in Rare Malignancies: Development of a miRNA Signature for RDEB-cSCC. 2023;15:3286.
  3. Welponer T, Weber DD, Trattner L, Tockner B, Aminzadeh-Gohari S, Leb-Reichl V, Kaufmann A, Zauner R, Wimmer M, Wally V, Felder TK, Strunk D, Koller U, Bauer JW, Kofler B, Guttmann-Gruber C, Piñon Hofbauer J. Metformin shows anti-neoplastic properties by inhibition of oxidative phosphorylation and glycolysis in epidermolysis bullosa-associated aggressive cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology : JEADV 2023
  4. 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
  5. Ablinger M, Lettner T, Friedl N, Potocki H, Palmetzhofer T, Koller U, Illmer J, Liemberger B, Hainzl S, Klausegger A, Reisenberger M, Lambert J, Van Gele M, Desmet E, Van Maelsaeke E, Wimmer M, Zauner R, Bauer JW, Wally V. Personalized Development of Antisense Oligonucleotides for Exon Skipping Restores Type XVII Collagen Expression in Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa. 2021;22:3326.
  6. 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
  7. 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 AP, Bauer JW, Reichelt J, Furihata T, Guttmann-Gruber C, and Piñón Hofbauer J. Extracellular vesicles as biomarkers for the detection of epidermolysis bullosa-associated squamous cell carcinoma. Journal of Investigative Dermatology 2017;137(10).
  8. Stoehr LC, Madl P, Boyles MSP, Zauner R, Wimmer M, Wiegand H, Andosch A, Kasper G, Pesch M, Lütz-Meindl U, Hily M, Duschl A. Enhanced Deposition by Electrostatic Field-Assistance Aggravating Diesel Exhaust Aerosol Toxicity for Human Lung Cells. Environmental Science & Technology 2015;49(14):8721-30.


  1. Ablinger M, Wally V, Zauner R, Wimmer M. Erforschung von miRNAs bei aggressiven Plattenepithelkarzinomen. Spectrum Dermatologie 2021;01:21-5.


  1. Chen K, Yong J, Zauner R, Wally V, Whitelock J, Sajinovic M, Kopecki Z, Liang K, Scott KF, Mellick AS. Chondroitin Sulfate Proteoglycan 4 as a Marker for Aggressive Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Cancers 2022;14.
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