Scientists meet for 5th DZL International Symposium – “Networks in Lung Research”
The fifth edition of the DZL International Symposium on “Networks in Lung Research“ took place in Hamburg’s Curio-Haus on June 16-17. In collaboration with the German Centers for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK) and Infection Research (DZIF) as well as with the Cluster of Excellence “Inflammation at Interfaces“ researchers from the DZL exchanged scientific results in overlapping areas. Renowned national and international speakers presented the state of the art of their respective research areas to 150 clinical and basic scientists. Moreover, junior scientists presented their projects in short oral presentations and posters.
One thematic focus of the Symposium was epidemiology, touching the disciplines of cardiology, infection research and pneumology. Therefore, one central topic of the speakers – Prof. Peter Burney (Imperial College London) and Prof. Jørgen Vestbo (University of Manchester and President of the European Respiratory Society) – was co-morbidities. It is beyond dispute that heart and lung disease can affect and cause each other. For this reason both are subject of population-based studies as the Hamburg City Health Study which was presented by Prof. Dr. Stefan Blankenberg (University Heart Center Hamburg). Further topics were cost-effectiveness of health care in the field of pneumology/cardiology (Dr. Larissa Schwarzkopf, Helmholtz Zentrum Munich) as well as for typing of tuberculosis in infected patients (Prof. Dr. Roland Diel, University of Kiel).
In many diseases clear geographical distributions can be seen. This is often based on socio-economic factors as Prof. Dr. Klaus Rabe (LungenClinic Grosshansdorf) demonstrated by means of the report “The Battle for Breath“ which has been published recently by the British Lung Foundation. Another very timely topic of this session on “Trends in Chronic Disease“ was ageing. Prof. Scott Budinger (Northwestern University, Chicago) explained the molecular implications of ageing in chronic lung diseases. The Short Oral Presentations of the “Trends” Session focused on miRNA’s from extracellular vesicles (Dr. Sabine Bartel, Research Center Borstel) and on the development of an intravital microscope (Dr. Mario Pieper, University of Lübeck).
Further topics of the Symposium were recent results in sarcoidosis, cystic fibrosis, tuberculosis, asthma and COPD. The best poster prizes were awarded to Dr. Anna Lena Jung (University Marburg), Dr. Christine Fink (University of Kiel) and Dr. Sebastian Marwitz (Research Center Borstel).
The DZL Symposium elucidated overlapping research areas of three German Centers for Health Research (DZG) and a Cluster of Excellence as indicated by lively discussions. This can be taken as starting point for further activities of the DZGs in order to promote investigation and treatment of widely spread diseases.