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Reasons for the action

Chronic lung diseases (CLD) are a major cause of death in the Western world but curative therapies do not exist. Recent studies indicate that the risk to develop CLD is modified by early exposures during critical developmental windows. This concept opens unique opportunities for the pre- or early postnatal modification of later disease risks, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are insufficinently unexplored.
A clear understanding of the underlying mechanisms (immune, epigenetic etc.) of developmental origins of CLD is the inescapable prerequisite for the successful development of preventative or early intervening therapeutic strategies.
To close this gap, a highly cross-disciplinary approach involving scientists from basic and clinical research is required.
To build effective bridging systems that allow establishing a multidisciplinary research network to combine expertise in human disease and predispositions with complementary model systems, the COST (Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action BM1201 "Developmental Origins of Chronic Lung Disease" was initiated, which includes top-ranking scientists from 21 European countries and two partners from USA.
This Action aims to bring forward a novel understanding of CLD pathogenesis and to build the prerequisites for the successful development of early interventions and/or innovative therapies.

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