The Network for Ichthyoses and Related Keratinization Disorder (NIRK) is an initiative that was funded in its beginnings by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) of the German government. NIRK started its work in October 2003. After altogether three grant periods financial support ended in the summer of 2013. Since that time NIRK continues to work and is run by its members without financial funding of specific projects.
The head office of this nationwide network is located at the university hospital of Münster (UKM) and was the starting point for the now existing reference center for ichthyoses and palmoplantar keratoderma (ReCIP) that is headed by Priv. Doz. Dr. med. Vinzenz Oji.
Ichthyoses are a group of rare, generalized, and genetically determined disorders of keratinization which are characterized by massive scaling and often in addition by marked inflammation of the skin. All of this results in severe physical and psychosocial handicaps and impairment of quality of life.
A better understanding of the molecular genetic basis and of disease mechanisms is the focus of the work of the NIRK network and thus we try to achieve an improved clinical care of patients with ichthyosis and related diseases.