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Cells Webinar | Metabolic Alterations and Cellular Stress Responses in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

29 Jun 2022, 10:00 (CEST)

COPD, Oxidative Stress, Metabolic Alterations, Mitochondrial Dysfunction, Cell Death Modalities, DAMPs, Cigarette Smoke, Mitophagy
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Welcome from the Chair

18th Webinar on Cells

Metabolic Alterations and Cellular Stress Responses in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

COPD is a severe and debilitating lung disease that is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Currently, no curative treatments are available. In order to identify novel therapeutic targets, it is important to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of COPD. The primary focus of this seminar is to explore the metabolic alterations and cellular stress responses upon exposure to noxious particles in healthy and diseased lungs, and how these contribute to the development of COPD and its systemic manifestations. Accumulating evidence points towards a crucial role for cellular stress and alterations in the metabolic processes of structural and innate immune cells. Chronic inhalation of toxic gases and particles, including cigarette smoke, exhaust fumes, fine dust and micro- and nanoplastics induces oxidative stress and cellular damage in the lungs. In combination with genetic susceptibility and/or epigenetic modifications, this can ultimately lead to metabolic reprogramming in lung tissue as well as systemic changes with metabolic abnormalities. At cellular level, COPD lungs display mitochondrial dysfunction, DNA damage, impaired proteasomal activity and ER stress. This is associated with metabolic reprogramming, cell damage and death, and subsequent release of damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), triggering immune and remodelling processes and systemic manifestations. We aim for the submission of review and research atricles that cover the latest findings in the field of metabolic alterations and cellular stress responses in COPD, including effects of cigarette smoke extract and environmental pollutants, oxidative stress responses, mitochondrial dysfunction, mitophagy, the role of novel cell death modalities such as ferroptosis, necroptosis, NETosis, DAMP release, and systemic metabolic alteration.

Date: 29 June 2022

Time: 10:00 am CEST | 4:00 am EDT | 4:00 pm CST Asia

Webinar ID: 896 1519 7776

Webinar Secretariat:


Department of Pathology and Medical Biology, Experimental Pulmonology and Inflammation Research, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

Irene H Heijink (1975) is a Medical Biologist working at the departments of Pathology & Medical Biology and Pulmonology. Her main interest is the pathogenesis of chronic lung diseases, such as asthma and COPD. Her line of research focuses on the immunological barrier function and aberrant repair of the respiratory epithelium in asthma and COPD epithelium. Patient-specific in vitro models, including organoids, are used to study the interaction of epithelium with the environment, including inhaled insults, the extracellular matrix and immune cells. Heijink is currently principal investigator and in lead of the Experimental Pulmonology and Inflammation Research group.

Invited Speakers

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism (NUTRIM), Maastricht University Medical Centre+ (MUMC+), Maastricht, The Netherlands

Alexander Remels was born on the 13th of February 1982 in Herk-De-Stad, Belgium. After finishing high school, he started studying Biomedical Sciences at Hasselt University (Belgium) and Maastricht University (Netherlands) in September 2000 and received his Masters’ degree in 2004. After graduating, he started a PhD at the Department of Respiratory Medicine at Maastricht University. He received his PhD in 2009 for his thesis ‘’A molecular basis for the loss of muscle oxidative phenotype: implications for COPD’’ in which he investigated abnormalities in skeletal muscle mitochondrial energy metabolism and the molecular regulation thereof in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). After finishing his PhD, he obtained a long-term travel fellowship from the Dutch Lung Foundation to work at the lab of Dr. D. Guttridge at Ohio State University, USA for 1 year. After this, Alexander returned to the Department of Respiratory Medicine at Maastricht University and obtained several grants including a Kootstra Talent Fellowship from Maastricht University, a NWO VENI grant and a Junior Investigator Grant from the Dutch Lung Foundation to continue his research on the molecular regulation of mitochondrial energy metabolism. His research has focused on the impact of inflammatory processes on oxidative- and glycolytic energy metabolism in cardiac and skeletal musculature. He is currently working as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Maastricht University where he is involved in teaching within the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences and performing research on mitochondrial energy metabolism in multiple cell types and tissues and investigating potential pharmacological/nutritional modulation thereof in health and disease.

Department of Pathology and Medical Biology, Experimental Pulmonology and Inflammation Research, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

Dr. Simon D. Pouwels’s research line focuses on identifying the role of Damage Associated Molecular Patterns (DAMPs) and their receptors in the pathophysiology of COPD, with a special focus on the DAMP receptor RAGE. We analyze levels of panels of DAMPs in various cohorts, investigate the cellular and molecular responses towards COPD triggers, e.g cigarette smoke, as well as investigate the immune reaction which is initiated by DAMPs. Keywords: COPD, DAMPs, innate immune system, cigarette smoke, biomarkers, cell death, RAGE.


This is a FREE webinar. The number of participants to the live session is limited but the recording will be made available on Sciforum shortly afterwards. Registrations with academic institutional email addresses will be prioritized.

Certificates of attendance will be delivered to those who attend the live webinar.

Webinar Content

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Time in CEST

Prof. Dr. Irene Heijink

Chair Introduction

10:00 - 10:10 am

Dr. Alexander Remels

Cigarette Smoke-Induced Alterations in the Molecular Regulation of Mitochondrial Metabolism in Airway Epithelial Cells: Are Aldehydes the Culprit?

10:10 - 10:40 am

Dr. Simon Pouwels

Mitochondrial DAMPs, Endogenous Danger Signals Fueling Airway Inflammation in COPD

10:40 - 11:10 am

Q&A Session

11:10 - 11:25 am

Closing of Webinar
Prof. Dr. Irene Heijink

11:25 - 11:30 am

Relevant SI

Metabolic Alterations and Cellular Stress Responses in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Guest Editors: Prof. Dr. Irene Heijink & Dr. Simon D. Pouwels
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2022

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