Academic Profile : Faculty

Asst Prof Baptiste Janela .jpg picture
Asst Prof Baptiste Janela
Assistant Professor of Skin Immunology, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine
Assistant Professor, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine
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Asst Prof Baptiste Janela graduated in Cell Biology and Physiology from the University of Rouen, France. He obtained his Master degree (2005) and PhD (2010) in Skin Immunology from the University Paris Diderot, Paris VII, France.

He came to Singapore for his postdoctoral fellowship at the Singapore Immunology Network, A*STAR. In 2019, Asst Prof Baptiste Janela became independent researcher and joined the Skin Research Institute of Singapore.

In 2023, Asst Prof Baptiste Janela joined LKCMedicine where his laboratory is currently focusing on deciphering the cellular/molecular mechanisms and signalling pathways that contribute to the immunopathology of skin diseases notably on Cutaneous Inflammatory Diseases, Wound Healing, Skin Cancer and Severe Cutaneous Adverse Drug Reactions.
As the largest barrier organ in the body, the skin is a challenging immune site that requires vigilance for invading pathogens, coupled with tolerance to self, environmental antigens, and microbiota. The laboratory is focused on the understanding and deciphering the role and specific functions of antigen-presenting cells (APC) (Dendritic cells, macrophages) and monocytes during the development of skin inflammation. Together, these APC populations sense and integrate multiple signals from the internal and external environment in order to initiate and shape optimal immune responses. Thus, APC biology is at the centre of allergic and autoimmune skin conditions, pathogen infections, wound healing, skin cancer and most importantly as promising targets for next-generation immunotherapies.

Our approach integrates the application and development of new methods that take advantage of the combination of high dimensional platforms such as deep immune-phenotypic profiling using state of the art 40 colour flow cytometry or Cytometry by Time-Of-Flight mass spectrometry (CyTOF), Single Cell RNA sequencing analysis in combination with skin imaging. Both cellular and molecular profiling at the single cell level will provide new insight into the complexity of the skin immune response in severe cutaneous adverse reactions (SCARs) and autoimmune bullous diseases (AIBDs).

In addition, this will permit us to understand the roles of the APC populations and their interactions with other immune cells in the skin which is necessary for the development of improved therapies for such conditions. Mouse models are regularly employed to study skin physiology, biochemistry, immunology, and for in vivo translational research. While many facets of anatomical, physiological, and immunological features are similar between mice and human, many comparative studies show large differences between mouse and human skin.

Human skin is structurally and functionally different to mouse skin but also in their immune systems network such as the presence and location of differing dominant T cells, a differing array of chemokines expressed, and the presence or absence of antimicrobial peptides. Due to these major differences, it may contribute to the failure of translating mouse in-vivo skin model outcomes to human skin disease. Due to the fact that majority of current 3D skin models do not take immune components into account, the laboratory focuses on the generation of immunocompetent 3D skin equivalents from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs). Inclusion of immune cells within 3D skin models would be an important step towards the recapitulation of native human skin and to mimic the pathogenesis of skin diseases in vitro.
  • Unraveling the Immune Mechanisms of Skin Diseases to Enable In Vitro Modeling