About me

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Rainer Kunstfeld

Curriculum Vitae

Born in 1969 in Vienna. During my academic training, there were several stays abroad, including the Department of Angiology at the University Clinic Frankfurt am Main and at the Department of Dermatology at the University of Texas.

In 1995, I accepted a position as research assistant at the University Clinic of Dermatology at the General Hospital Vienna (AKH Wien), in the research group of Prof. Dr. Peter Petzelbauer.

In 1995, I graduated as Doctor of Medicine in Vienna. Having completed my military service, I worked as medical resident at the Department of Internal Medicine, Vascular Surgery and Plastic Surgery at the Wilheminenspital.

Subsequently, I trained as specialist in dermatology and venereology at the University Clinic of Dermatology in Vienna (Director Univ. Prof. Dr. Klaus Wolff).

In 2002 I moved to the US, where I worked for 2 years at the Harvard Medical School in Boston, in Prof. Dr. Michael Detmar’s group.

Having completed my specialist medical training at Harvard University, I returned in 2004 to the University Dermatology Clinic in Vienna (Clinic Director Univ. Prof. Dr. Hubert Pehamberger). My postdoctoral qualification in the fields of dermatology and venereology took place the same year.

Several months later I was appointed as senior physician in the Department of General Dermatology, University Clinic of Dermatology, General Hospital Vienna (AKH Wien), where I performed comprehensive clinical tasks as well as research work:

  • Cooperative head of the primary care general out-patient clinic
  • Head of the general inpatient ward, focus on oncology, with 28 regular beds and 6 day-clinic beds
  • Cooperative head of the dermato-oncological day out-patient clinic and, since 2008, developing the clinic for “white skin cancer” (non melanoma skin cancer – NMSC)

From 2005 through 2008, I served as secretary general of the Austrian Association of Dermatology and Venereology (Österreichische Gesellschaft für Dermatologie und Venerologie – ÖGDV). Since 2005, I have been operating a private practive for surgery of dermatology in Vienna.

Additional Training

2012: Diploma “Klinischer Prüfarzt” (clinical investigator), Vienna Medical Chamber
2007: Diploma “Palliativmedizin“ (palliative medicine), Kardinal-König-Haus, Vienna
2010: Certificate “Medikamentöse Tumortherapie in der Dermato-Onkologie” (medicinial tumour therapy in dermato-oncology); diploma of the dermato-oncology working group of the German Cancer Association

Additional Employment

2017-2019 Medical Director „Dermatologikum Wien“
Since 2010, graduation reviewer (Promotionsgutachter) at the Charité (Berlin)
Since 2006, scientific editor of the “Spectrum Dermatologie” journal
Since 2005, private practice for surgery in Vienna
Since 1999, reviewer for the following journals (selection): Cancer Res., Int J. Cancer, J. Invest. Dermatol, J. DeutschDermatol Ges, British J. Dermatol, J. Dermatol Science, J. American Acad. Dermatol,

Congress Organisation

2015-2019: Symposium “Spektrum Dermatologie kompakt”, Vienna
2009: 7th World Congress on Melanoma / 5th Congress of the European Academy of Dermato-Oncology (EADO), Vienna (President: H. Pehamberger, Secretary General: R. Kunstfeld)
2007: Symposium European Academy of Dermato-Oncology (EADO), Zurich, R. Kunstfeld along with Prof. Antonio Cozzio
2007: Annual conference of the Austrian Association of Dermatology and Venereology, Vienna (President: H. Pehamberger, Secretary General: R. Kunstfeld)
2006: Annual conference of the Austrian Association of Dermatology and Venereology, Salzburg (President: HJ. Rauch, Secretary General: R. Kunstfeld)
2005 Annual conference of the Austrian Association of Dermatology and Venereology, Vienna (President: HJ. Rauch, Secretary General: R. Kunstfeld)
2005 10th World Congress on Cancers of the Skin, Vienna (President: H. Pehamberger, K. Wolff, Secretary General: R. Kunstfeld)

Research Awards, Distinctions and Scholarships

2014: “Non Melanoma Skin Cancer Award” of the Austrian Association of Dermatology
2010: Billroth Award (as senior author, for a publication of Verena Paulitschke)
2004: Habilitation Award of the VFWF – Verein zur Förderung von Wissenschaft und Forschung an den Universitätskliniken (association to promote science and research at university clinics)
2004: Austrian Dermatology Award (Unilever Prize)
2004: Cardinal Innitzer Promotional Award for Medicine
2002: Max Kade Scholarship of the Austrian Academy of Sciences
2000: Award of the Austrian Association of Plastic Surgery
1999: Research Award of the HOECHST Foundation
1998: Hermal travel grant of the ESDR (European Society for Dermatological Research)
1997 Albert M. Kligman Fellowship of the SID (Society for Investigative Dermatology)

Laboratory for Experimental Dermatology

As of 2004 (return from the US), setting up and heading a research lab at the department of general dermatology at the Vienna General Hospital. Research focus: establishing new, experimental therapies for treating inflammatory and oncological diseases in dermatology. Cooperation partners: Institute of Cancer Research (Vienna), Institute of Analytical Chemistry (Vienna), Swiss Federal University of Applied Science, Zurich; University Clinic of Dermatology, Zurich; Ehime University Department Dermatology, Japan; Mayo Clinic, Arizona, USA

Personal Services

Clinical Work:
Since 2008, setting up and heading the clinic for “white skin cancer, non melanoma skin cancer NMSC” in the department of general dermatology at the General Hospital Vienna (AKH Wien)
Setting up the centre of clinical studies for treatment of “white skin cancer”, which is presently one of the major study centres in the world for systemic treatment of advanced basalioma
Description of a new vascular tumour of the skin in patients reliant on dialysis

Surgical Research:
Characterising the keratin profile of the prefabricated lobe. Awarded the prize of the Austrian Society of Plastic Surgery (2000).

Fundamental Research:
Thrombospondin 2 (TSP-2) for the prevention of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma in a multistep carcinogenesis model
Anti-angiogenic therapy of melanoma with cationic liposomes
Experimental proof of the central role of VEGF-A in the pathogenesis of psoriasis
Developing a transgenic mouse model for psoriasis research
Establishing a murine, humanised model for in-vivo melanoma research

Symposium “Spektrum Dermatologie kompakt” Vienna (2015-2019)
Secretary General of the two largest skin cancer conferences in Vienna (World Congress Cancers of the Skin 2005 und World Congress Melanoma 2009)
Organising the two major skin cancer congresses of the world in Vienna (World Congress Cancers of the Skin 2005 and World Congress Melanoma 2009)
Successful organisation (as secretary general) of a total of 4 annual conferences of the Austrian Society for Dermatology and Venereology
Organising international skin cancer symposia in the context of annual EADO conferences in Zurich, Barcelona, Venice, and Hamburg

National Panels
Member of the Austrian National Institute of Health (Oberster Sanitätsrat – OSR) of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Health (since 2014)

International Panels
Elected board member of the dermato-oncology working group (Arbeitsgruppe Dermato-Onkologie – ADO) of the German Cancer Society (2012-2014)