Department for BioMedical Research (DBMR)

Pulmonary Medicine (Paediatrics)

Main research topics of the Division for paediatric respiratory medicine are:

  • Pathophysiolgy and early detection of asthma in infants
  • Early detection of pulmonary changes in cystic fibrosis
  • Role of respiratory viruses in exacerbations of chronic airway diseases
  • Characterization of patients with ciliary dyskinesia
  • Chronic lung disease of prematurity

The development of new lung function techniques and non-invasive markers of airway inflammation is a hallmark of our research. The impact of early airway disease and environmental factors (e.g. air pollution) on the development of the lung can be studied by these new techniques. The BILD cohort (Bern-Basel infant lung development birth cohort ), which includes over 450 healthy infants followed from birth on during whole childhood, plays a central role for these studies. The cohort is led in collaboration with Prof. Urs Frey, UKBB, Universitäts-Kinderspital beider Basel, Basel. The role of respiratory viruses in the development and in exacerbations of chronic airway disease is a particular focus of our work, and our laboratory studies are focusing on innate immune defenses of the airway epithelium towards respiratory viruses. There is also active interest in genotype-phenotype association in cystic fibrosis. Immunological studies are focusing on aspergillus colonization in cystic fibrosis and on the development of the immune system in early asthma. We collaborate closely with researchers from adult pulmonary medicine, from the Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine and from the Institute for Infectious Diseases, as well as with several national and international research groups.

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