The occurrence of lung impairment and scaring (i.e. fibrosis) after COVID-19 infection is being evaluated in observational clinical studies (NCT04581135). Translational studies within our laboratory group evaluate potential biomarker associated with disease severity and course within this clinical study. (Funding: Lungenliga Bern and Fondation Johanna Dürmüller-Bol Stiftung (clinical study), Bern Center for Precision Medicine (BCPM))
We investigate mechanisms of exacerbation or lung fibrosis in translational and basic science projects. Potential drug candidates are evaluated in in vitro and in ex vivo models for lung fibrosis. Human lung tissue samples are cultured in form of PCLS (precision cut lung slices) and fibrosis is induced by a fibrogenic cytokine cocktail to test potential drugs or drug candidates.
In addition, we are interested in the role of senescence in lung fibrosis pathogenesis. We investigate effects of senolytic drugs on fibrosis in our models. (Funding: Gottfried & Julia Bangerter-Rhyner-Stiftung, Lungenliga Bern)