National Program for Respiratory Research

Thanks to the National Program for Respiratory Research, lung research in the Netherlands will get more attention than ever. Read the latest general news about the developments of the National Program for Respiratory Research. For updated news please click here.

21 10 2016Update taskforce Cross fertilization

October 2016: Update task force “Cross fertilization between research areas”

The taskforce “Cross fertilization between research areas” is developing a symposium, tentatively entitled “Cross-border thinking: a key to success in Dutch respiratory research”. The aim of this symposium is to stimulate innovative approaches for respiratory research. To achieve this, it is important to have an open eye for developments in other research areas and implement suitable research approaches and techniques into respiratory research. Involving patients in research is also a means to stimulate cross-border thinking by bringing in a different perspective. The aim of this symposium is to stimulate cross-border thinking in respiratory research by inspiring lectures and an interactive workshop. This interactive lunch session aims to bring together different disciplines and backgrounds around one topic.
The symposium is targeted at basic and clinical scientists and clinicians interested in respiratory research and care. The symposium is scheduled for the spring of 2017, and the program will be finished and speakers will be invited before the end of 2016.


02 05 2016The Lancet: Article Nationaal Programma Longonderzoek

Cover The Lancet Respiratory Medicine May 2016Lancet Respiratory Medicine 2016

News from the Netherlands.

Development of the National Program Lung Research: ’Life Long Lungs’

Dirkje S Postma, Peter J Wijkstra, Pieter S Hiemstra, Barbro N Melgert, Gert-Jan Braunstahl, Machteld N Hylkema, Peter J Sterk.


Respiratory diseases have a huge personal, societal and economic impact. The main three, i.e. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer and respiratory infections, are all in the WHO top-10 major killers worldwide, causing 8.1 million deaths annually.

The Netherlands Respiratory Society (NRS;, founded in 2009, has therefore initiated the development of a National Program Lung Research entitled ‘Life Long Lungs’, to strengthen collaborative efforts in the Netherlands and to improve the perspective for affected patients. The Dutch National Program Respiratory Research is a vivid example of how all parties in a country are now collaborating to improve research (

After internal consultation amongst scientists within NRS and external peer review a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis was performed on Dutch research in all respiratory disease areas. This became input into a broad face to face conference at which patients, care providers, researchers and policy makers collectively decided on priority areas that are combining the needs, opportunities and Dutch research potential, thereby providing real impact for patients and society.

The priority areas are:

  1. Overarching disease mechanisms. Impact: novel therapies by cross-fertilisation
  2. Phenotyping and monitoring. Impact: patient-tailored diagnosis and treatment (P4 medicine: preventive, predictive, participating, personalized)
  3. Regenerative medicine. Impact: reduction in tissue damage, cure
  4. Reduction of fatigue in patients with lung diseases. Impact: lower burden of disease (patient) and increased societal participation (societal impact)
  5. Early determinants and detection. Impact: ‘sustainable health’, ‘putting evidence on lifestyle’.

This Dutch National Program Respiratory Research is now being implemented by collaborations with governmental, charity and industrial entities that are preparing calls for biomedical research. During this whole process international collaborations are being encouraged.


  1. WHO statistics 2015
  2. ERS Whitebook
  3. D’Amato G, Holgate ST, Pawankar R, et al Meteorological conditions, climate change, new emerging factors, and asthma and related allergic disorders. A statement of the World Allergy Organization.World Allergy Organ J. 2015; 8(1): 25.

1. McCall . UK medical research gets political. Lancet, 2015;April 11;385(9976):1381-3


The Lancet Respiratory Medicine: Article The Dutch National Program for Respiratory Research. Click here for the full article

21 11 2015Registration conference "Een Leven Lang Longen" november 2015

On November 20-22, 2015 the conference "Een Leven Lang Longen” took place. For a short registration check out this video.

10 11 2014Kick-off

An  energetic start

After months of preparation, the day was finally there: on November 10, 2014 professionals of the broad field of lung research came together to kick off the National Program for Respiratory Research. With enormous enthusiasm, the attendants made important steps towards prevention and optimal treatment of lung diseases. They set off to work in three groups with the first six goals of the National Program for Respiratory Research. You can read the results on the task force pages.

On the road to the science of tomorrow!