Disease Area Coordinators

Prof. Dr. Klaus F.  Rabe (ARCN), Prof. Dr. Claus F. Vogelmeier (UGMLC)

(Administr. Coordinator: Dr. Jörn Bullwinkel (ARCN))

Contributing DZL Sites



Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is characterized by progressive and largely irreversible airflow limitation.  Shortness of breath is the most common symptom of COPD and contributes significantly to the decreased quality of life experienced by many COPD patients.  Although in part preventable, COPD is the 4th leading cause of death in the world.  The most common causes of COPD are cigarette smoking and air pollution, and the most frequently encountered destructive lung disease is COPD linked to emphysema.  Loss of structural integrity and regenerative capacity are critical for disease progression as well as for response or lack of response to therapy in COPD; however the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood.  The long term goal of the DZL COPD research effort is the translation of novel mechanism-based therapeutic concepts into effective therapies for COPD patients.


  • To improve healthcare delivery, to develop appropriate targeted interventions and to define frameworks for an objective outcome evaluation
  • To perform investigator initiated and/or industry sponsored early clinical trials, e.g., regarding endobronchial application techniques of therapeutic drugs and interventional endoscopic management
  • To develop and/or utilize several cohorts for a better understanding of respiratory health and COPD prevalence in Germany, the natural course in early stages and the consequences of the disease
  • To establish the measurement of physical activity as a relevant COPD endpoint
  • To identify biomarker candidates and fingerprints that can be further assessed and validated
  • To elucidate molecular mechanisms of remodeling, regeneration and repair in COPD animal models and patient tissues and to validate candidate genes as targets for novel therapeutic strategies

COPD:  Selected Publications from DZL Faculty Members Published Since 2010

Vogelmeier CF, Bateman ED, Pallante J, Allagappan VKT, D´Andrea PD, Chen H, Banerji D. Efficacy and safety of once-daily QVA149 compared with twice-daily salmeterol—fluticasone in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (ILLUMINATE): a randomised, double-blind, parallel group study. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine 2013;1(1):51-60.

Rabe KF, Fabbri LM, Vogelmeier C, Kögler H, Schmidt H, Beeh KM, Glaab T. Seasonal distribution of COPD exacerbations in the POET-COPD trial. Chest 2013; 143(3):711-9.

Janssen O, Schaumann F, Holz O, Lavae-Mokhtari B, Welker L, Winkler C, Biller H, Krug N, Hohlfeld JM. Low-dose endotoxin inhalation in healthy volunteers - a challenge model for early clinical drug development. BMC Pulmonary Medicine 2013;13(1):19.

Röpcke S, Holz O, Lauer G, Müller M, Rittinghausen S, Ernst P, Lahu G, Elmlinger M, Krug N, Hohlfeld JM. Repeatability of and Relationship between Potential COPD Biomarkers in Bronchoalveolar Lavage, Bronchial Biopsies, Serum, and Induced Sputum. PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e46207.

Duerr J, Gruner M, Schubert SC, Haberkorn U, Bujard H, Mall MA. Use of a new-generation reverse tetracycline transactivator system for quantitative control of conditional gene expression in the murine lung. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 2011;44:244-254.

Vogelmeier C, Hederer B, Glaab T, Schmidt H, Rutten-van Mölken MP, Beeh KM, Rabe KF, Fabbri LM; POET-COPD Investigators.Tiotropium versus salmeterol for the prevention of exacerbations of COPD. N Engl J Med 2011; 364:1093-1103.

Seimetz M, Parajuli N, Pichl A, Veit F, Kwapiszewska G, Weisel FC, Milger K, Egemnazarov B, Turowska A, Fuchs B, Nikam S, Roth M, Sydykov A, Medebach T, Klepetko W, Jaksch P, Dumitrascu R, Garn H, Voswinckel R, Kostin S, Seeger W, Schermuly RT, Grimminger F, Ghofrani HA, Weissmann N. Inducible NOS inhibition reverses tobacco-smoke-induced emphysema and pulmonary hypertension in mice. Cell 2011;147(2):293-305.

Waschki B, Kirsten A, Holz O, Müller KC, Meyer T, Watz H, Magnussen H. Physical activity is the strongest predictor of all-cause mortality in patients with COPD: a prospective cohort study. Chest. 2011;140(2):331-42.

Sciurba FC, Ernst A, Herth FJ, Strange C, Criner GJ, Marquette CH, Kovitz KL, Chiacchierini RP, Goldin J, McLennan G, Group VSR. A randomized study of endobronchial valves for advanced emphysema. N Engl J Med 2010;363:1233-1244.

Woodruff PG, Wolff M, Hohlfeld JM, Krug N, Dransfield MT, Sutherland ER, Criner GJ, Kim V, Prasse A, Nivens MC, Tetzlaff K, Heilker R, Fahy JV. Safety and Efficacy of an Inhaled Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Inhibitor (BIBW 2948 BS) in COPD. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2010;181(5):438-45.