Project Details


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a complex inflammatory lung disease where changes in the structure of the lungs lead to reduced lung function, which affects the gas exchange and causes cardiovascular events. Today there are no good treatment strategies available. My research focuses on understanding how vascular changes, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), are involved in COPD. VEGF is upregulated in hypoxia and is important for the formation of blood vessels and thus for the oxygen exchange in the lungs. To better understand how VEGF is involved in COPD, we use primary cells and lung tissue from patients with different stages of COPD and expose them to hypoxia. Gene and protein expression linked to vascular changes and cellular stress are analyzed. The lung tissue are studied with histology to see if the changes that occur in hypoxia mimic the pathological changes that occur in patients with different stages of COPD. Specific pharmacological studies are done with different drugs and receptor antagonists. Preliminary findings indicate that drugs used in the treatment of COPD affect VEGF differently depending on the stage the COPD disease is in. This can be of great importance for the drug's effect and at what time the drug should be given. The goal of my research is to understand more about the mechanisms of hypoxia-induced changes linked to disease development and progression, as well as the possibility of evaluating treatment strategies against these changes and thus improved treatment of COPD.
Effective start/end date2021/01/012024/12/31


  • The Swedish Heart and Lung Association
  • Crafoord Foundation