Research > Chronic diseases, Surgery and Health Care

Translational research in respiratory medicine group

  1. Precision medicine in obstructive sleep apnea
    • Obstructive sleep apnea is a chronic disease of high prevalence characterized by repeated episodes of upper airway collapse during sleep, leading to events of hypoxia and sleep fragmentation. In consequence, intermediate mechanisms such as oxidative stress, sympathetic activation, inflammation, and endothelial dysfunction increase the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Obstructive sleep apnea is a highly heterogeneous disease with different causal pathways, distinct phenotypes, and several outcomes. Similarly, the response to the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment is highly variable among the patients. Under this perspective, the implementation of precision medicine is an interesting approach.
  2. Sleep Health, sleep disorders and Chronobiology
    • Sleep is rapidly emerging as a relevant pillar of health along with diet, physical activity, and emotional wellness. Poor sleep quality and alterations in the circadian rhythms are related to a plethora of adverse outcomes in the short and long-term. Immediate effects include daytime somnolence, decreased productivity, and increased risk of traffic accidents. Chronic alterations in sleep and circadian rhythms are associated with the appearance and/or progression of several conditions such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease as well as neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. The main objectives of this research line are: i) to evaluate the impact on global health of sleep disorders (obstructive sleep apnea) and the impact of circadian health under different conditions such as neurodegenerative diseases, COVID-19, critical illness; ii) to unravel predictive factors for a compromised sleep and circadian health in such conditions; iii) to investigate potential markers to identify sleep and circadian health in a feasible, cost-effective manner; iv) to evaluate possible mechanisms underlying a compromised sleep and circadian health; v) to monitor the sleep habits in Catalonia (through the 'Enquesta de salut de Catalunya [ESCA] 2020-2023'); vi) to perform activities of dissemination aiming to improve the awareness of the society in this regard.
  3. COVID-19: clinical impact, molecular aspects and novel biomarkers
    • The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted public health around the world in the last years. COVID-19 is an heterogeneous condition ranging from asymptomatic to critical illness and fatal outcomes. Estimations report that up to 20-30% of COVID-19 patients develop severe complications leading to hospitalization, intensive care unit admission, an increased mortality risk and an elevated presence of post-acute sequelae. Overall, the aim of the research line is: i) To identify the clinical predictors associated with adverse clinical outcomes; ii) To decipher the clinical phenotypes linked to adverse outcomes and the presence of postacute sequelae in the hospitalized patient, including the critical patient; iii) To construct prognostic models to improve medical decision-making in the hospitalized patient and critical patient: prognostication and response to therapy; iv) To identify the molecular mechanisms linked to adverse outcomes during the acute phase and post-acute sequelae; v) To identify novel biomarkers to improve medical decision-making during the acute phase of the disease and in the "Post-COVID" patient: prognostication and response to therapy.