The research programme involves the following sub-programmes:
1. Epidemiology - Epidemiological studies on endogenous, environmental and lifestyle risk factors, both in general and patient-based populations, from prenatal onwards to old age.
2. Genomics - Studies on genes, gene expression and function, molecular mechanisms and gene-gene and gene-environment interactions in disease development, progression, remission, and severity, as well as disease intervention (pharmaco- genomics).
3. Pathophysiology and pathogenesis of allergen, smoking and other lifestyle factors, and environment-induced diseases - In vivo studies in humans and animal models using mice and guinea pigs. Investigations include lung function techniques and studies of blood, tissues and/or cells derived from airways or lungs. Furthermore, in vitro studies assess cellular activation and interaction as well as signalling pathways in cells and tissue explants (e.g. lymphocyte subsets, epithelial cells, fibroblasts, intact airway, and smooth muscle preparations). Interactions of different cell types are studied in cells obtained by sputum induction as well as airway and lung tissue obtained by bronchoscopy, by surgical biopsy or autopsy.
4. Assessment, modulation and intervention in disease severity, progression and remission - Disease outcome assessment is being studied with techniques such as exhaled breath analyses and small airway function. In addition, validated questionnaires on Quality of Life, drug side effects, hyperresponsiveness and symptoms are developed for diagnostic purposes as well as outcome assessment. Interventions are investigated at the level of cell cultures, animal models and clinical studies with targeted therapy.