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Inflamation and Infection, Ghent University

Inflammation is the first response of the immune system to infection or tissue injury, leading to protection of the body against these insults. However, chronic inflammation forms the basis of several diseases such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, multiple sclerosis and even certain forms of cancer.
The Inflammation Research Centre is one of the prominent labs at Ghent University. Its researchers study the molecular mechanisms of inflammation. At the heart of this research is the investigation of molecular signaling pathways in inflammatory cells and structural cells of the skin, lung, gut and brain. Research is multidisciplinary with molecular biologists, cell biologists, and bioinformaticians collaborating with clinicians. It is the IRC's ambition to translate our basic research into innovative ways for diagnosis and therapy of human inflammatory diseases. To complement the mechanism-oriented research, IRC therefore actively supports R&D of innovative molecular biotechnological platforms. These tools offer new approaches to study the mechanisms of inflammation, and form the essential basis for novel diagnostics and therapeutics. The IRC has a track record of advanced translational biotechnology research, with several products now in clinical development. These products will soon benefit patients with Crohn's disease, allergies and lysosomal storage diseases. For example, in recent work, IRC researchers are unravelling how metabolism and the unfolded protein response intersect with the process of allergic sensitization and viral infection. The ultimate goal is to find novel treatment strategies that alter the long term course of asthma and can prevent or cure the disease.



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