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Assoc.-Prof. Thomas Kocher, PhD


Research statement

I am interested in the development of ex vivo and in vivo RNA- and DNA-targeting therapies for EB. We are currently using gene editing technologies (CRISPR/Cas9 and TALEN) to repair EB-associated mutations in patient-derived cells. The main focus is on the development and optimization of an efficient and safe gene editing technology.
Additionally, we want to establish several cell-based screening system via CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technologies, which could serve as a test platform for several therapeutic approaches.

Personal interests

My main personal interest besides work, is to spend as much time as possible with my little family.
My second passion is and has been soccer. I actively played soccer since my childhood. I played several years in the 3rd league in Austria, but stopped my active career with the birth of my second child.

Curriculum Vitae Thomas Kocher

Professional Career

Since 2017
at the EB House Austria

Scientific Associate
at the EB House Austria



, Paris Lodron University Salzburg
"Immune interactions in chronic lymphocytic leukemia"
Research group: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Richard Greil

in Genetics/Biotechnology with distinction, Paris Lodron University Salzburg
"2-D electrophoresis as a proteomic technology for the study of human skin ageing"
Research group: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Johann W. Bauer

in Genetics and Molecular Biology, Paris Lodron University Salzburg


Awards and Fellowships

2021 PMU Research and Innovation Award 2021- Best Publication by a First Author
2020 Scientific award in bronze from the Paracelsus Medical University of Salzburg
2019 Scientific award in bronze from the Paracelsus Medical University of Salzburg
2018 Scientific award in gold from the Paracelsus Medical University of Salzburg
2017 Austrian Dermatology Prize (Unilever Prize)
2017 Scientific award in bronze from the Paracelsus Medical University of Salzburg
2016 ESDR Travel Grant from the European Society for Dermatological Research
2016 Scientific award in bronze from the Paracelsus Medical University of Salzburg
2014 Isidor Neumann Poster award from the Austrian Society of Dermatology
2014 Scientific award in gold from the Paracelsus Medical University of Salzburg
2011 DOC fellowship of the Austrian Academy of Sciences


Additional qualifications/training

2017 TEM-Workshop: Transmission electron microscopy techniques
2015 CRCS Workshop: Preparation of clinical trial protocols
2015 CRCS Workshop: Einreichung bei Ethik und Behörde
2013 FELASA B Course, B413, Munich, Germany

Original Articles

  1. Petković I, Bischof J, Kocher T, March OP, Liemberger B, Hainzl S, Strunk D, Raninger AM, Binder AM, Reichelt J, Guttman-Gruber C, Wally V, Piñón Hofbauer J, Bauer JW, Koller U. COL17A1 editing via homology-directed repair in junctional epidermolysis bullosa. Front Med 2022, 9:976604.
  2. Bischof J, March OP, Liemberger B, Haas SA, Hainzl S, Petković I, Leb-Reichl V, Illmer J, Korotchenko E, Klausegger A, Hoog A, Binder H-M, Garcia M, Duarte B, Strunk D, Larcher F, Reichelt J, Guttmann-Gruber C, Wally V, Hofbauer JP, Bauer JW, Cathomen T, Kocher T, Koller U. Paired nicking-mediated COL17A1 reframing for junctional epidermolysis bullosa. Molecular Therapy 2022.
  3. Woess K, Sun Y, Morio H, Stierschneider A, Kaufmann A, Hainzl S, Trattner L, Kocher T, Tockner B, Leb-Reichl V, Steiner M, Brachtl G, South AP, Bauer JW, Reichelt J, Furihata T, Wally V, Koller U, Piñón Hofbauer J, Guttmann-Gruber C. Evaluating a Targeted Cancer Therapy Approach Mediated by RNA trans-Splicing In Vitro and in a Xenograft Model for Epidermolysis Bullosa-Associated Skin Cancer. International journal of molecular sciences 2022;23.
  4. Kocher T, Bischof J, Haas SA, March OP, Liemberger B, Hainzl S, Illmer J, Hoog A, Muigg K, Binder HM, Klausegger A, Strunk D, Bauer JW, Cathomen T, Koller U. A non-viral and selection-free COL7A1 HDR approach with improved safety profile for dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids, 2021
  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, March OP, Bischof J, Liemberger B, Hainzl S, Klausegger A, Hoog A, Strunk D, Bauer JW, Koller U. Predictable CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated COL7A1 Reframing for Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa. J Invest Dermatol. 2020, ISSN 0022-202X
  7. Bornert O, Kocher T, Gretzmeier C, Liemberger B, Hainzl S, Koller U, Nyström A. Generation of rabbit polyclonal human and murine collagen VII monospecific antibodies: A useful tool for dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa therapy studies. Matrix Biology Plus 2019, 100017, ISSN 2590-0285
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. Peking P, Breitenbach JS, Ablinger M, Muss WH, Poetschke FJ, Kocher T, Koller U, Hainzl S, Kitzmueller S, Bauer JW, Reichelt J, Lettner T, Wally V. An ex-vivo RNA trans-splicing strategy to correct human generalized severe epidermolysis bullosa simplex. Br J Dermatol. 2019 Jan;180(1):141-148. doi: 10.1111/bjd.17075. Epub 2018 Oct 7.
  11. Liemberger B, Piñón Hofbauer J, Wally V, Arzt C, Hainzl S, Kocher T, Murauer EM, Bauer JW, Reichelt J, Koller U. RNA Trans-Splicing Modulation via Antisense Molecule Interference. Int J Mol Sci 2018;19(3):762.
  12. Kocher T, Peking P, Klausegger A, Murauer EM, Piñón Hofbauer J, Wally V, Lettner T, Hainzl S, Ablinger M, Bauer JW, Reichelt J, Koller U. Cut and Paste: efficient homology-directed repair of a dominant negative KRT14 mutation via CRISPR/Cas9 nickases. Mol Ther 2017;25(11):2585-2598.
  13. Peking P, Koller U, Duarte B, Murillas R, Wolf S, Maetzig T, Rothe M, Kocher T, García M, Brachtl G, Schambach A, Larcher F, Reichelt J, Bauer JW, Murauer EM. An RNA-targeted therapy for dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. Nucleic Acids Res 2017;45(17):10259-10269.
  14. Hainzl S, Peking P, Kocher T, Murauer EM, Larcher F, Del Rio M, Duarte B, Steiner M, Klausegger A, Bauer JW, Reichelt J, Koller U. COL7A1 editing via CRISPR/Cas9 in recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. Mol Ther 2017;25(11):2573-2584.
  15. Hüttner C, Murauer EM, Hainzl S, Kocher T, Neumayer A, Reichelt J, Bauer JW, Koller U. Designing Efficient Double RNA trans-Splicing Molecules for Targeted RNA Repair. Int J Mol Sci 2016;17(10):1609.
  16. Tockner B*, Kocher T*, Hainzl S, Reichelt J, Bauer JW, Koller U, Murauer EM. Construction and validation of a RNA trans-splicing molecule suitable to repair a large number of COL7A1 mutations. Gene Ther 2016;23(11):775-784. *contributed equally
  17. Peking P, Koller U, Hainzl S, Kitzmueller S, Kocher T, Mayr E, Nystrom A, Lener T, Reichelt J, Bauer JW, Murauer EM. A gene gun-mediated non-viral RNA trans-splicing strategy for Col7a1 repair. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids 2016;5:e287.
  18. Zaborsky N, Holler C, Geisberger R, Asslaber D, Gassner FJ, Egger V, Piñón-Hofbauer J, Kocher T, Hartmann TN, Greil R, Egle A. B-cell receptor usage correlates with the sensitivity to CD40 stimulation and the occurrence of CD4+ T-cell clonality in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Haematologica 2015;100(8):e307-e310.
  19. Kocher T, Asslaber D, Zaborsky N, Flenady S, Denk U, Reinthaler P, Ablinger M, Geisberger R, Bauer JW, Seiffert M, Hartmann TN, Greil R, Egle A, Piñón Hofbauer J. CD4+ T cells, but not non-classical monocytes, are dispensable for the development of chronic lymphocytic leukemia in the TCL1-tg murine model. Leukemia 2016;30(6):1409-13.
  20. Koller U, Hainzl S, Kocher T, Hüttner C, Klausegger A, Gruber C, Mayr E, Wally V, Murauer EM. Trans-splicing improvement by the combined application of antisense strategies. Int J Mol Sci 2015;16(1):1179-91.
  21. Lutzny G, Kocher T, Schmidt-Supprian M, Rudelius M, Klein-Hitpass L, Dürig J, Wagner M, Haferlach C, Kohlmann A, Schnittger S, Seifert M, Wanninger S, Oostendorp R, Ruland J, Leitges M, Kuhnt T, Feuerstacke Y, Lampl B, Peschel C, Egle A and Ringshausen I. Protein kinase C-β dependent activation of NF-κB in stromal cells is indispensable for the survival of chronic lymphocytic leukemia Bcells in vivo. Cancer Cell 2013;23(1):77-92.
  22. 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. MolOncol 2013;7(6):1056-68.
  23. Merkel O, Wacht N, Sifft E, Melchardt T, Hamacher F, Kocher T, Denk U, Hofbauer JP, Egle A, Scheideler M, Schlederer M, Steurer M, Kenner L, Greil R. Actinomycin D induces p53-independent cell death and prolongs survival in high-risk chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Leukemia 2012;26(12):2508-16.
  24. Piñón Hofbauer J, Heyder C, Denk U, Kocher T, Holler C, Trapin C, Asslaber D, Tinhofer I, Greil R and Egle A. Development of CLL in the TCL1 transgenic mouse model is associated with severe skewing of the T-cell compartment homologous to human CLL. Leukemia 2011;25(9):1452-8.
  25. Laimer M*, Kocher T*, Chiocchetti A, Trost A, Lottspeich F, Richter K, Hintner H, Bauer JW, Onder K. Proteomic profiling reveals a catalogue of new candidate proteins for human skin aging. Exp Dermatol 2010;19(10):912-8. *contributed equally


  1. Kocher T, Petkovic I, Bischof J, Koller U. Current developments in gene therapy for epidermolysis bullosa. Expert opinion on biological therapy 2022:1-14.
  2. Kocher T, Koller U. Personalisierte Therapie: Gene-Editing-Strategien für Genodermatosen. Spectrum Dermatologie 2021;01/2021
  3. March OP, Kocher T, Koller U. Context-Dependent Strategies for Enhanced Genome Editing of Genodermatoses. Cells 2020, 9, 112.
  4. Kocher T. ÖGDV Preisträger stellen sich vor: Der Österreichische Dermatologenpreis - Unilever Preis 2017 ging an Dr. Thomas Kocher aus Salzburg. J Dtsch Dermatol Ges 2018;16(4):529-531.
  5. Kocher T. Spezielle CRISPR/Cas9-Technologie zur Therapie von Genodermatosen. Spectrum Dermatologie 2018;1/2018:42-43.

Book chapters

  1. Kocher T, Koller U. Advances in gene editing strategies for epidermolysis bullosa. Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science: Academic Press; 2021.


  1. Kocher T, March OP, Bischof J, Liemberger B, Hainzl S, Klausegger A, Hoog A, Strunk D, Bauer JW, Koller U. CRISPR-Cas9-basierte Korrekturstrategie – vorhersagbare Reparaturergebnisse. Spectrum Dermatologie 2020;04/2020:62-3.

Teaching assistant for "Analytical Chemistry" at the Paris Lodron University Salzburg
Teaching assistant for "Chemistry" at the Paris Lodron University Salzburg

Supervision of 2 Master students

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