Helmoltz and INSERM launch collaboration in lung diseases

06 Jan 2010 | News


Helmholtz Zentrum München and the French research centre Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) in Paris have initiated a strategic research partnership in lung biology and disease.

Together with Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU), the partners will carry out coordinated research projects, run a joint summer school for students and make joint use of databases.

“By combining our competence and strengths, the Helmholtz Zentrum München and INSERM intend to gain a precise understanding of the patho-mechanisms of chronic lung diseases,” said Günther Wess, scientific-technical director of the Helmholtz Zentrum München. “This will be crucial for true breakthroughs in future treatments of lung diseases.”

As Paul-Henri Roméo, director of the programme area Immunology, Hematology and Pneumology at INSERM, explained, “We have to enhance the integration of basic and translational research in the field of lung biology and disease.”

On the German side, the project is being managed by Oliver Eickelberg, head of the Comprehensive Pneumology Centre (CPC). The cooperation will include Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and Asklepios Pulmonary Hospital in Gauting, the two partners of Helmholtz Zentrum München within the CPC.

Lung diseases are the second most common cause of death worldwide. To a large extent, the pathogenesis of most chronic lung diseases are still not fully understood, which is why many lung diseases remain incurable. At best, disease symptoms can be mitigated, but over the long term this is not a satisfactory.

Helmholtz Zentrum München is the German Research Centre for Environmental Health, focusing on chronic and complex diseases that develop from the interaction of environmental factors and individual genetic disposition. It belongs to the Helmholtz Association, Germany’s largest research organisation, a community of 16 scientific-technical and medical-biological research centres with a total of 26,500 staff members.

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