11 projects

Screening for small molecule activators of mesenchymal stem cells as potential therapeutics for C...

Some COVID-19 patients have been successfully treated with mesenchymal stem cells. Most probably, the positive effect comes from the immunomodulatory function of mesenchymal stem cells on the inflammatory burst in the virus-damaged alveolar region. An already established 3D in vitro model representing the alveolar barrier will be enriched with mesenchymal stem cells to further increase the similarity to the human in vivo situation. We suggest to use these alveolar models as a tool to screen for small molecules that activate endogenous mesenchymal stem cells and that have therefore therapeut...

MicroRNA biomarkers of COVID-19 severity

The Cardiovascular Research Unit of LIH proposes to apply its know-how on RNA biomarkers to identify circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) able to predict COVID-19 severity. This project is included in COVID-19 Task force WP02 and aims to fulfill the medical need of identifying patients at high risk of developing complications after infection by SARS-CoV-2 virus. The discovery of novel prognostic biomarkers will help tailoring healthcare to each individual for patient's benefit. Considering the importance of the inflammatory storm on disease severity and patient outcome, we will focus on inflamma...

HUMAN GENETIC VARIANTS AS PREDICTORS OF THE IMMUNE RESPONSE TO COVID-19

One of the main unanswered questions is why some individuals infected with COVID-19 develop severe disease, whilst others do not. Current evidence suggests that genetic variations influence human immune reactions to microbial infections, including both innate and adaptive immune responses. Here, we aim to evaluate the impact of genetic factors on the variability of the innate immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. On top of a large screening of the classical immune response genes (e.g. IFNs, ILs, TLRs, MHCs), we are particularly interested in the IRG1/ACOD1 gene, which we previously di...

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