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ERS COPD Research Award 2010

- For medical media outside the US only

Barcelona and Ingelheim, 20 September 2010 – The European Respiratory Society (ERS) is delighted to announce that Prof. Dr. Guy Brusselle from Belgium is this year's recipient of the Society's annual award for research in the field of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Prof. Guy Brusselle is a Professor of Medicine at Faculty of Medicine since October 2002 and Head of the Laboratory for Translational Research of Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases at the University of Ghent (Belgium).

The ERS COPD Research Award recognises the work of young European ERS members active in pulmonology research and is now in its tenth year. Sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim, it consists of a sponsorship totalling 50,000 Euros to be used for scientific research projects in the field of COPD.

The prize of 50,000 Euros goes to Guy Brusselle for the project “Interrelationship of systemic inflammation, pulmonary inflammation, lymphoid neogenesis and airway remodeling in the pathogenesis of COPD”.

As part of the CHARGE consortium, Prof. Brusselle and his research group have performed a genome wide association study regarding lung function, in more than 20,000 subjects 1. They have identified 8 genetic loci, including the genes Hedgehog Interacting Protein (HHIP), a disintegrin and metallopeptidase domain 19 (ADAM19) and 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 4 (HTR4), which are significantly associated with the FEV1/FVC ratio, a measure of airway obstruction. Moreover, they have demonstrated that HHIP is a COPD susceptibility gene 2.3.

Prof. Brusselle completed his PhD in 1997 at the University of Ghent in Belgium where he worked together with Prof. R. Pauwels. His main interests are the pathogenesis of asthma and of COPD, including preclinical and translational research, clinical trials of mostly phase II and III in asthma of different severities, and COPD, as well as observational studies on COPD.

In addition to ERS, Prof. Brusselle is also a member of the American Thoracic Society and the Belgian Society of Pneumology. He has been recognised several times for his research activities by the Societies.

Prof. Brusselle has made important contributions to the understanding of the pathogenesis of COPD. The strength of Prof. Brusselle’s research is an integrated and multidisciplinary translational approach, combining animal models and basic genetic research with academic clinical research on human subjects. In addition, his research group performs genetic epidemiologic research on a prospective large population-based cohort study.

“The ERS is delighted to receive so many applications and wishes to thank all applicants for their contributions. The Committee was impressed by the originality, quality, impact, clinical or basic science relevance of the projects submitted. In particular, we congratulate Prof. Brusselle for his excellent and innovative work. Prof. Brusselle with his research group has made important contributions to the understanding of the pathogenesis of COPD. We extend our thanks to Boehringer Ingelheim, leader in the research and treatment of COPD, for making this award possible,” said Prof. Laurent P. Nicod, ERS Scientific Committee Chair. “I would also like to take this opportunity to invite ERS’s members to submit entries for next year’s award.”

European members of the ERS up to age 45 are eligible to apply for the award. The official online application form can be found on the ERS website The deadline for applications is 24 February 2011. Selection of the successful candidates will be made by the Scientific Committee of the ERS.

The European Respiratory Society

ERS was founded in London in 1990 from the merger of the Societas Europaea Physiologiae Clinicae Respoiratoriae (SEPCR, founded 1966) with the European Society of Pneumology (SEP, founded 1981), it is unique in bringing together basic science with clinical practice within a single entity. With membership now standing at some 10,000 and increasing, the secret to ERS’ phenomenal growth has been vision, a commitment to excellence, inspired leadership, the dedication, and the loyalty and active role played by its members in over 100 countries. ERS seeks to alleviate suffering from respiratory disease and promote lung health through research, sharing of knowledge and through medical and public education.

More information about the European Respiratory Society is available at

About Boehringer Ingelheim

The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 142 affiliates in 50 countries and more than 41,500 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

In 2009, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of 12.7 billion euro while spending 21% of net sales in its largest business segment Prescription Medicines on research and development.

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