Prof. Susanne Krauss-Etschmann

Experimental Asthma Research

Chronic non-communicable lung diseases (CLD) are a major cause of morbidity and mortality but curative therapies do not exist. Recent epidemiological studies suggest that the risk to develop CLD is modified by exposures during early critical developmental windows. This view represents a fundamental change of current pathophysiological concepts and treatment paradigms and holds the potential to develop novel preventive and/or therapeutic approaches.
A major risk factor to develop asthma or COPD in later life is in utero exposure to cigarette smoke. To explore the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon, we use a model of prenatal smoke exposure to a) delineate biomarker signatures for prediction of disease risk and b) develop early interventions based on microbes and microbial metabolites.
To understand the role of the commensal bacteria for pulmonary health we further investigate the lung microbiome in a cohort of healthy smokers and non-smokers as well as longitudinally in smokers undergoing a smoking cessation program. Complemented by studies in the mouse this will allow to delineate a core microbiome of the lung as well as understand  the influence of a model environmental stressor on the diversity and functionality of the lung microbiota.

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Prof. Susanne Krauss-Etschmann

Research Center Borstel

Tel.: +49 (0) 4537-188-5850

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  • Kammerl IE, et al. (2016) Impairment of Immunoproteasome Function by Cigarette Smoke and in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 193(11):1230–1241.
  • Svanes C, et al. (2016) A multi-generation analysis of the Respiratory Health In Northern Europe study. Int J Epidemiol, accepted.
  • Kepert I, et al. (2016) D-tryptophan from probiotic bacteria influences the gut microbiome and allergic airway disease. J Allergy Clin Immunol, accepted.
  • Krauss-Etschmann S, Meyer KF, Dehmel S, Hylkema MN (2015) Inter- and transgenerational epigenetic inheritance: evidence in asthma and COPD? Clinical Epigenetics 7:53.
  • Krauss-Etschmann S, et al. (2012) Of flies, mice and men: a systematic approach to understanding the early life origins of chronic lung disease. Thorax 68:380-4.