Inaugural lecture Prof. J.K. Burgess: Lung disease through a 4-dimensional looking glass - a wonderland
|When:||Tu 18-06-2019 16:15 - 17:00|
|Where:||Aula Academy Building, Broerstraat 5, Groningen|
Our lungs are vital for our well-being; they keep us alive, responding to insults we breath in. They are made up of a complex arrangement of many cell types embedded within their specialized supporting structure the extracellular matrix (the matrix). The matrix was originally recognized for providing the rigidity and structural integrity for the organs but we now recognize it also provides instructions to the cells, and similarly, cells are able to renovate the matrix that surrounds them.
Prof. Janette Burgess and her teams’ research, has shown that the matrix changes in the lung during disease which sends different messages to cells that encounter it. These messages have functional implications for cell activities that are important for the repair processes thought to be disrupted in lung diseases.
One limitation to date is that all the investigations have used 2 dimensional model systems in hard plastic dishes – and we know that our lungs are soft and not 2D. Beginning to think 3D opens a wealth of new possibilities for understanding the processes that drive lung diseases – and with the element of time for understanding changes in disease, we step into a beautiful 4-dimensional wonderland.
In the coming 5 years Burgess will be creating innovative biologically relevant models of human lung disease reflecting the 3D structure of the matrix. These models will enable us to examine the repair processes that are active in the lung and how these are altered in lung diseases.
Through peering through the 4-dimensional looking glass that her team will generate using our innovative multi-disciplinary approaches we will be able to appreciate the wonderland of the lung.