The Inflammation Research Center (IRC or 'Inflammatie-researchcentrum') is active within VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology) and Ghent University.
Inflammation is the first response of the immune system to infection or tissue injury, leading to protection of the body against these insults. However, chronic inflammation forms the basis of several diseases such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, multiple sclerosis and even certain forms of cancer.
The IRC labs study the molecular mechanisms of inflammation. At the heart of this research is the investigation of molecular signaling pathways in inflammatory cells and structural cells of the skin, lung, gut and brain. We particularly focus on NF-κB, ER stress and cell death pathways and study how these are altered by disease. Research is multidisciplinary with molecular biologists, cell biologists, and bioinformaticians collaborating with clinicians.
It is the IRC's ambition to translate our basic research into innovative ways for diagnosis and therapy of human inflammatory diseases. To complement the mechanism-oriented research, IRC therefore actively supports R&D of innovative molecular biotechnological platforms. These tools offer new approaches to study the mechanisms of inflammation, and form the essential basis for novel diagnostics and therapeutics. The IRC has a track record of advanced translational biotechnology research, with several products now in clinical development. These products will soon benefit patients with Crohn's disease, allergies and lysosomal storage diseases.