About FIBERNET

To date, fibrotic disease account for up to 45% of deaths in the developed world. As there is no treatment for fibrosis, this condition imposes a major socioeconomic burden on health care. Because fibrosis occurs in multiple chronic inflammatory diseases there is a high need for a cross-disciplinary approach to assure progression in our understanding about the molecular processes that drive this condition.

Fibernet is such a multi-disciplinary team of (clinician) researchers that aims at understanding, preventing, managing and curing tissue fibrosis. To realize this aim, we utilize the widespread experience, know-how and network to promote collaboration within academic and industrial environments. Our scope is ambitious but patient-oriented; members of Fibernet strive to understand the molecular basis and genetics of fibrosis as well as starting clinical trials to ameliorate fibrosis.

Research

Translational research from man to molecule forms the heart of Fibernet. Our labs model fibrosis in animals, ex vivo patient tissue, 3D cell culture, as well as bioengineered material. We have a large collection of fibrotic tissues derived from our patients, which we use to interrogate the complex processes contributing to fibrosis. A Systems Medicine approach is centralized around these tissues to assess the pathological pathways contributing to fibrosis in a spatial and temporal manner. Our positioning within the UMC Utrecht focus programs Infection and Immunology and Translational Regenerative Medicine as well as our strong collaboration with the Hubrecht Institute (www.hubrecht.eu) supports our objectives, extends our knowledge network, and places us at the forefront of excellent science in the Netherlands.

Goals

– Unravel the molecular pathways by which inflammation drives fibrosis
– Identify final common / disease-specific pathways that lead to fibrosis in multiple chronic inflammatory conditions
– Identify biomarkers for early diagnosis & treatment response
– Translate the molecular pathways to pre-clinical targets using state of the art “disease in a dish models”, experimental models and a systems medicine approach
– Partner up with pharma partners in early clinical developmental paths