In vitro Models of Asthma
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Identifying drug leads for asthma by understanding inflammation spread
The Asthma Project
The Academic partner is the Allergic & Asthmatic Inflammation group, School of Medicine, University of Aberdeen (UNIABDN) whose work focuses on the cells and mediators responsible for the initiation and resolution of inflammation in asthmatic and allergic disease. Asthma is now the most common chronic disease in westernised countries. It is a complex syndrome characterised by a variable degree of airway obstruction in which the fundamental abnormality is airway inflammation.
One key area of ongoing work is furthering understanding of how an important pro-inflammatory effector cell in asthma, the eosinophil, selectively accumulates in the asthmatic lung. Central to this is an understanding of how eosinophils transmigrate from the blood vessels of the lung into the surrounding tissues when they exert their pro-inflammatory effects. This project combines proven expertise in leukocyte adhesion and transmigration (UNIABDN) with expertise in microflow adhesion of high throughput assays (Cellix). The development of the resulting platform technology will be used to identify therapeutic targets for asthma and to apply these novel technologies to other human diseases with a significant inflammatory component.
By identifying those immunomodulators that facilitate/block adhesion and transmigration processes in an in vitro setting prior to using an animal model, pharmaceutical companies would be able to remove/include such compounds from down-stream processing, thereby eliminating false leads earlier reducing the drug development cycle and cost. The new area of competence to be developed will require a multi disciplinary effort and this is one of the key benefits of the ToK approach.
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*The Marie Curie Fellowship Industry Academia Partnership funding is available for universities, research organisations, and businesses in the EU or Associated States to provide early-stage researchers of any nationality or age with structured scientific or technological training opportunities of between three months to three years.
This project has received funding from the European Commission under funding call FP6-2004-MOBILITY-3.