Sue Gibbs

Professor of Skin and Mucosa Regenerative Medicine

(VUMC Head of Skin Lab, Dept Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology; ACTA Oral Cell Biology).

Prof. Dr Sue Gibbs studied human biochemistry and physiology at Sheffield University, England and went on to obtain her PhD in 1991 at the Department of Molecular Genetics, Leiden University. Her entire career has focused on human skin and oral mucosa biology, and in particular in animal alternative methods to develop novel therapeutic strategies for treating and preventing human disease. As a Postdoc in LUmc (1993), the development of ‘in vivo like’ human skin and oral mucosa equivalents were her major interest. She became head of the Dermatology Laboratory, VUmc in 2001. This position opened the opportunity to expand the research on tissue engineered skin for human clinical wound healing and in vitro alternatives for animal tests. In 2005, she participated and co-managed the European Sixth Framework project “Sens-it-iv” which focused on novel testing strategies for in vitro assessment of allergens.  In July 2012, Prof Gibbs’ leading position in the field of skin tissue engineering was be awarded with the Fenna Diemer-Lindeboom chair as Professor of Skin and Mucosa Regenerative Medicine aimed at promoting female scientific talent.  This unique position is jointly supported by the Amsterdam University Medical Centre and the Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA). In 2015, she received the national ‘’Lef in the Lab’’ prize by the Dutch Animal Protection society for her immune competent skin-on-chip project which has the potential to provide a personalized medicine approach to treating cancer. In 2018 she became staff member in Dept Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology, Amsterdam UMC to further realise the potential of human healthy and disease model technologies.

Prof. Gibbs is co-author of >150 peer reviewed publications, and is involved in numerous national and international projects which aim to combine cutting-edge research in host-microbiome interactions and immunology with advances in tissue engineering. Current focus lies with developing next generation immune competent skin and oral mucosa tissue engineered constructs to understand the (patho)physiology of immune related diseases, sensitization versus tolerance and adverse scar formation with the aim of identifying novel drug targets for personalized as well as general therapeutic strategies. Recently, her research has extended into the field of hair follicles and importantly ‘’organ-on-a-chip’’, in particular immune competent ‘’skin and mucosa-on-a-chip’’ and “melanoma-on-chip”, which has the potential to provide a personalized medicine approach to treating human skin disease.