The Research Consortium of Excellence Infla-Med combines multidisciplinary expertise of eight research groups from two faculties to perform fundamental and translational research on inflammation, including: inflammatory gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, lung and kidney disorders, sepsis and allergies, as well as parasitic diseases, thereby focusing on specific inflammatory cell populations, including monocytes/macrophages, mast cells, basophils and lymphocytes. The approach of the Infla-Med consortium is twofold. Firstly, fundamental studies are performed to unravel the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying inflammatory conditions in order to enable
more rational, targeted and effective intervention strategies. Secondly, Infla-Med aims to identify and validate novel therapeutic targets by screening chemical compounds in early drug discovery studies and by using an extensive platform of in vitro assays and in vivo models. The close collaboration with the Antwerp University Hospital (UZA) creates the opportunity to directly translate and clinically validate experimental findings. Thereby, Infla-Med contributes to two Frontline Research Domains of the University of Antwerp: 'Drug Discovery and Development' and 'Infectious Diseases'. Over the past four years, the multidisciplinary collaborations within Infla-Med have proven to be very successful and productive. By integrating the Infla-Med unique expertise on drug
development, in vitro assays and clinically relevant animal models (validated with human samples), significant competitive funding has been acquired at European, national and UAntwerp levels with a success rate of more than 45%, which is far above the (inter)national average. Noteworthy, several Infla-Med projects have also made the transition towards valorization, demonstrating that Infla-Med results obtained from both fundamental research and well-designed preclinical studies can successfully be translated into clinical trials.