Lung diseases pose significant health problems on a global scale. The World Health Organization lists four lung diseases among the top ten causes of death, accounting for one sixth of the global total. The European Respiratory Society estimates the direct and indirect costs of lung disease are more than 380 billion € per year for Western Europe alone. For most respiratory disease, however, currently available treatment concepts provide symptomatic relief but no cure.  Moreover, the incidence and economic burden of lung disease are expected to grow even further over the next decades.  For these reasons, it is more important than ever to develop new approaches to combatting lung disease through research, including options for disease prevention, diagnosis, and therapy. 

In the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), 28 leading German research institutions have banded together to fight pulmonary disease through translational research. Basic science and disease- and patient-oriented research in the field of lung disease are coordinated through an integrated, innovative approach devoted to improving patient care as quickly and efficiently as possible.