Area 2

Clinical and Experimental Respiratory Immunoallergy (IRCE)

Team leader

Strategic objectives

  1. Investigation of the mechanisms regulating inflammatory response and remodelling in bronchial asthma, allergic and non-allergic rhinitis, chronic rhinosinusitis and nasal polyposis, and pulmonary interstitial diseases.
  2. Investigation of the mechanisms underlying food and drug allergies.
  3. Investigation of the mechanisms involved in anaphylaxis of complex etiopathogenesis and mast cell physiology.
  4. Investigation of the mechanisms involved in sudden and progressive loss of smell from different ethiologies: acute and chronic sinonasal inflammation, allergies, Traumatic Brain Injury, Parkinson Disease, iatrogenic, or idiopatic.

Main lines of research

  1. Inflammation of the upper and lower airway mucosa.
    Investigation of the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in sinonasal inflamation and remodelling (MUC and mucins, metaloproteinases, microRNA), and association with broncho-pulmonary diseases (asthma, bronchiectasis, COPD).
  2. The sense of smell in health and disease.
    Investigation of the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in olfactory dysfunctions such as sinonasal inflammation, united airway diseases, allergies, Traumatic Brain Injury, Parkinson Disease.
  3. Food and drug allergy.
    Investigation of genetic, immunological, and biochemical mechanisms involved in respiratory allergy, food allergy, drug allergy, and NSAID hypersensitivity reactions.
  4. Glucocorticoid resistance in respiratory diseases.
    Investigation of molecular mechanisms involved in glucocorticoid resistance in respiratory and non-respiratory diseases, seeking for biomarkers of therapeutic response.
  5. Aspirin and non-steroidal antiinflammatory drug (nsaid) intolerance.
    Investigation of the mechanisms of action involved in NSAID intolerance: association of allergy and cofactors, cyclooxygenase regulation, leukotriene and prostaglandin regulation, PGE2 receptor agonists and PGE2 relationship with geneticabnormalitis in cystic fibrosis and severe asthma.
  6. Idiopatic pulmonary fibrosis.
    Investigation of the mechanisms of action of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis: expression of PGE2, IL-1β, and their receptors and clinical efficacy of intrabronchial installation of type II alveolar cells.
  7. Pathophysiology of mast cells.
    Study of the mechanisms of anaphylactic reactions of multiple origin (indolent mastocytosis, predisposing genetic alterations) and identification and characterization of adapter molecules in the signaling of iGe high affinity receptor and Kit receptor. Mechanism of action of antiinflammatory drugs in eosinophils, (corticosteroids, MP29-02), mast cell and basophils (omalizumab).

Research Group

Sinonasal inflammatory and olfactory research group (INGENIO)

Joaquim Mullol


  1. Investigation of different aspects of inflammatory sinonasal disorders (allergic and non-allergic rhinitis, chronic rhinosinusitis, nasal polyposis):
    - The physiopathological mechanisms of nasosinusal mucosal hypersecretion and regulation of mucins and MUC genes.
    - The physiopathological and clinical association of upper and lower airway inflammatory diseases and their impact upon patient quality of life.
  2. Evaluation olfactory alterations and their mechanisms of action as diagnosis and severity markers. We have validated an olfactometric test (BAST-24) and performed a smell epidemiological study (OLFACAT) in the Catalan population.
  3. Development and use of a human in vitro model of eosinophilic inflammation for test and compare the antiinflammatory action of different drugs used in airway inflammation (corticosteroids, antihistamines, antileukotrienes).