The research in the Pharmacology group focuses on the basic mechanisms underlying non-communicable disorders (NCD) and their pharmacological manipulations via drugs, biologicals and/or medical food components. The objective is to gain deeper insight into the pathways in which cells and mediators of the immune and/or central nervous systems interact, aimed at developing new concepts for prevention and/or treatment with a strong focus on inflammation management and organ function restoration.
In the group there is a unique combination of expertise in the field of immuno-pharmacology, neuro-immuno-pharmacology, psychopharmacology and regenerative pharmacology covering research in major target organs such as kidney, gastrointestinal, respiratory and nervous systems in both animals and man. The program follows an integrative multidisciplinary translational approach from molecular via in vivo animal models for disease towards proof of concept clinical studies in healthy volunteers and patients.
The section immuno-pharmacology (Garssen) is focused on the relationship between immune cells and their mediators in the development/maintenance and inhibition of immune-related diseases such as (food) allergy, asthma, COPD and inflammatory bowel diseases. The section in vivo pharmacology of respiratory diseases (Folkerts) focuses on COPD and asthma. In the section of psychopharmacology, research is centred on brain mechanisms that contribute to the development of stress-related disorders, including anxiety, depression, psychosis. Within the section neuro-immuno-pharmacology (Kraneveld), integrated mechanistic research on the contribution of the gut-immune-brain axis in neurological as well as in immunological disorders is performed. The experimental pharmacology section (Masereeuw) has a strong focus on regenerative medicine and disease modelling in which innovative tools, including organ on a chip technologies, are being used.