Chair of Translational Research into the Pathogenesis of COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a significant cause of chronic illness and death, affecting over 200 million people worldwide, and causing approximately 3 million deaths per year. We still lack therapies or drugs to stop or slow down the swift decline of lung function in patients with COPD. For this reason, we need fundamental research to unravel the mechanical processes underlying the inflammatory reaction and consequent structural changes in the lungs of patients with COPD.


The chair has a clearly defined thematic goal of uncovering the immunological mechanisms that play a role in the onset and progression of COPD, in order to identify potential therapeutical targets. The chair is part of a broader strategic framework of research of the ‘Laboratory of Translational Research into Obstructive Lung diseases’ within the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Ghent University.


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Prof. Guy Brusselle

Professor in the department of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, within the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Lung doctor at Ghent University Hospital, and head of the ‘Laboratory for Translational Research into Obstructive Lung Diseases’ of Ghent University.


Leerstoelhouder Translational research into the pathogenesis of COPDProf. Ken Bracke is associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics within the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, where he is part of the ‘Laboratory for Translational Research into Obstructive Lung Diseases’. Prof. Bracke received a Master’s in Biotechnology in 1999, a Master’s in Biomedical and Clinical Engineering technology in 2001, and a PhD in Medical Sciences in 2007, all from Ghent University. From 2008 to 2014 he was a postdoctoral researcher sponsored by the FWO (Flanders research foundation). His research focuses on unravelling the immunological mechanisms that are responsible both for the onset and progression of COPD, and has resulted in over 100 A1 publications. His work is also frequently referenced, with more than 4500 citations in total and a Hirsch index of 37. Prof. Bracke has also received numerous academic awards. For example in 2011 he received the ‘AstraZeneca Foundation Award on Clinical and Translational Research in Pneumology’ from the FWO (Flanders research foundation); in 2013, he received the ‘Prof. Romain Pauwels Award’ from the Belgian Association for Pneumology for the best international peer-reviewed article by a Belgian researcher; and in 2015, the ‘Dr. G. Schamelhout-Koettlitz Award for Pneumology’ from the Koninklijke Academie voor Geneeskunde van België (Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine).