Appointment of Joaquim Mullol, Group leader
Mysteries are the most wonderful things that we can experience and are the origins of both art and science. The important thing is to never stop asking questions!

Current research

Problem

Respiratory and food allergies, chronic rhinosinusitis, and asthma are chronic inflammatory diseases with a very high prevalence: they affect more than a third of the general population, have a major impact on patients’ sense of smell, reduce their quality of life, and have an enormous cost in terms of long-term health care resources.

Identifying the mechanisms of action responsible for these disorders may improve the efficacy of current treatments, allow for the development of new therapeutic strategies, and also facilitate the identification of biological markers (biomarkers) for diagnosis and for monitoring therapeutic response, within a context of personalized and precision medicine.

Approach

The group forms part of a multidisciplinary team of physicians and researchers who are studying the mechanisms involved in certain chronic and allergic respiratory diseases and in the problem of olfactory dysfunction.

Its translational research aims to find answers in the laboratory to questions that arise in clinical practice and to integrate the results of clinical studies and patient samples with those of animal experiments and cell models.

Analysis of specific metabolites and biomarkers using cellular and molecular biology techniques and bioinformatics to process the data are helping the group to obtain improved knowledge of the mechanisms involved in these disorders and to answer some of the questions.

Impact

One of the most group’s most highly pursued goals is the identification of diagnostic biomarkers that may even predict treatment efficacy in inflammatory and allergic disorders and in diseases that lead to loss of the sense of smell.

By means of studies in humans and the use of in vivo (animals) and in vitro models, the group is able to evaluate the anti-inflammatory potency of new drugs, and determine the pathophysiology of certain clinical problems (asthma, chronic rhinosinusitis, food allergies, rash, intolerance to NSAIDs) as well as the mechanism of action of existing drugs (corticosteroids, biological drugs) and of new therapies (post-traumatic olfactory training and cell therapy).