Cezmi Akdis

Director, Swiss Institute of Allergy & Asthma Research

Cezmi Akdis is the director of the Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research (SIAF) in Davos and Professor in Zurich University Medical Faculty.

He has honorary professorships from Beijign (China), Wuhan (China) and Bursa Uludag Universities (Turkey), Harvard University (USA). He is a Senate Member of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences.

Cezmi Akdis has published 720 peer-reviewed articles. His h-index is 156 and he was selected as a highly cited author consecutively in 2016-2017-2018-2019-2020 and 2021 by Clarivate (Thomson Reuters).

Cezmi Akdis acted as the President of the European Academy of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (15’000 members) between 2011-2013. He was the editor of Global Atlases of Allergy, Asthma I-II, Chronic Rhinosinusitis and Allergic Rhinitis.

He was the founder and organizer of the World Immune Regulation Meetings, Davos I-XVI (600-1000 participants). He has contributed the Allergy Chapters in the textbooks that are studied in Medical Schools, Such as Nelson Text book of Pediatrics, Middleton Essentials of Allergy. He is one of the Editors of the text book Pediatric Allergy Immunology. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Allergy journal, number one journal of the Allergy Clinical Immunology specialty, impact factor 14.71.

Cezmi Akdis’s major scientific contributions are on immune regulation and allergen tolerance, plasticity of antigen-specific T cells 1995, human T regulatory cells 1996, immune suppressive role of histamine receptor 2 2000, human Type 2 NK cell subset 2001, human regulatory NK cells 2007, regulatory innate B cell subset 2017, regulatory innate lymphoid cells 2019. His current research is the continuation of his epithelial barrier theory studies starting from mechanisms of eczema 2000, mechanisms of epithelial shedding in asthma and chronic rhinosinusitis 2003, endotypes of asthma, chronic rhinosinusitis and atopic dermatitis 2011, epithelial barrier theory for the development of allergic and autoimmune diseases 2006 - 2022. Cezmi Akdis is also the author of more than 40 publications on COVID including one of the first ones published on 19 February 2020, including pathophysiology, risk factors, severity, clinical characteristics and how to handle allergy and asthma patients during the pandemic.

Epithelial Barrier Theory
•        Several shortcomings of the hygiene, old friends and biodiversity hypotheses have been discussed during the last decades, however these hypotheses do not fully explain the rise in allergic disease.
•        The Epithelial Barrier Theory and studies of Akdis demonstrate a long list of environmental substances that impair epithelial barriers and proposes a strong explanation for the pandemic increase in allergic, autoimmune and neuropsychiatric diseases. The prevalence of these diseases increased by 100 times.
•        Molecular mechanisms of epithelial barrier damage of environmental substances, such as the involvement of oxydative stress, innate immune response, cell death mechanisms, protein folding defects have been demonstrated.
•        Link of epithelial barrier defects to microbial dysbiosis and immune system dysregulation have been demonstrated.
•        Several circulating biomarkers that identify leaky epithelial barriers have been demonstrated.
•        An innovative skin barrier detection method by electric impedance spectroscopy has been patented, developed and a device (Navisense; SciBase) is currently available.
•        A strong media outreach and public awareness work has been performed.
•        Possible strategies have been proposed for the avoidance and dose control environmental substances; development of safer, less-toxic products; development of novel therapeutic approaches for tightening the tissue-specific barrier molecules; strengthening other components of the mucosal barrier; blocking bacterial translocation; avoiding the colonization of opportunistic pathogens; interventions through diet and microbiome, and many more novel approaches.
•        Discussions with the NIH, FDA, Swiss EMPA and EU EFSA are ongoing.
•        EAACI Environment Guidelines and Epithelial Biology Group has been established co-chaired by C. Akdis.

⏎ Davos 2024
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