Respiratory failure is commonly encountered in the intensive care unit. Among others, mechanical ventilation is used to provide respiratory support until the lung function is restored. Even though this live-saving strategy is extensively used, it can also contribute to organ dysfunction, not only in lungs but also in distant organs. The main goal of our research is to decipher the mechanisms involved in respiratory failure in critically ill patients and ventilation- induced lung injury, in order to improve current therapeutic approaches and discover new ones.

To achieve this, several research lines have been established:

  1. Mechanotransduction in the alveolar epithelium. The aim of this project is to characterise at the molecular level how the alveolar epithelium responds to mechanical stress and to prevent the damage induced.
  2. The impact of frailty on mechanical ventilation. Patients who undergo mechanical ventilation have an increased comorbidity which generally correlates with poor prognosis. By using animal models and human samples, we are trying to address the molecular pathways that exacerbate the consequences of mechanical ventilation in fragile populations.
  3. Lung repair. After injury, the lungs exhibit some ability to repair and regenerate. With a combination of murine models and ex vivo experiments, we are trying to provide a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in lung repair after acute injury, especially those related to cell proliferation and extracellular matrix remodelling.
  4. Ventilation-induced brain injury. Mechanical ventilation can lead to damage at distant organs, such as the brain, through humoral and neural responses. Our goal here is to characterise the mechanisms involved in brain injury induced by mechanical ventilation, and how to identify patients at higher risk of suffering from this. Also, we are investigating preventive strategies and new therapies.