Andreas Rembert Koczulla, MD

Quantification of Alpha-1-Antitrypsin (AAT) in exhaled breath condensate of patients with Alpha-1-Antitrypsin Deficiency, smokers and COPD patients

Alpha-1-Antitrypsin Deficiency (AATD) is a genetic disorder that predisposes to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The main function of Alpha-1-Antitrypsin (AAT) is to protect the lungs against neutrophil elastase. Cigarette smoking is the most important additional risk factor.

Individuals with AAT have a markedly increased risk of severe, early-onset emphysema. It is thought that the increased risk of lung tissue injury is caused by inadequately controlled human leukocyte elastase activity that is released from activated inflammatory cells within the lower respiratory tract. It is difficult to measure the levels of AAT in different compartments of the lung. Bronchoscopy is still the gold standard to assess the bronchial lining fluid. The intrusive method of the endoscopy anticipated higher frequent follow ups in measuring important proteins in the lining fluid. Until now a non invasive method to measure bigger proteins like the 52 kD big AAT in the epithelial lining fluid is missing.
It is the aim of the project to show that AAT is measurable with the non invasive method of exhaled breath condensate (EBC). Measurements will be performed in healthy controls, augmented Alpha-1-Antitrypsin Deficiency patients and COPD patients. In the first part of the project the method of AAT detection in EBC will be standardized and validated.
In a second part pulmonary AAT levels will be correlated with markers of pulmonary inflammation. Finally we assume changes of the AAT levels between control subjects, "healthy" smokers, smoking stable COPD patients and exacerbated COPD patients. In the final part AAT levels will be compared.
The goal is to create a sufficient non invasive tool to measure contents of the epithelial lining fluid to guide therapy in future.

Curriculum Vitae of Andreas Rembert Koczulla

University Hospital Giessen and Marburg, Marburg, Germany

Current position
Post Doc/Residency, Philipps University Marburg

1993 - 1999 Medicine Humboldt University Berlin (Charité)
1996 - 1997 Charité Grant for the AKH-Vienna, Austria
1998 - 1999 Sokrates Grant for the LKH Graz, Austria
October 1999 final exam and approbation

Professional Training:
January 2000 - November 2001 Internship/residency at the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Munich
October 2001 September: Graduation (magna cum laude)
December 2001 - Post Doc/Residency in the Department of Pulmonology, Marburg, Germany, Chair Prof. Dr. Vogelmeier
October - December 2005 Three month training period in the Department of Pulmonology Leiden University (LUMC), Leiden Netherlands under supervision of Prof. K. Rabe, Prof. P. Hiemstra, Dr. J. Stolk and Prof. P. Sterk

1996 Charité Grant
1998 Sokrates Grant
March 2005 GSK-Grant/Preis der Deutschen Atemwegsliga
July 2006 eAlta fellowship/Laurell's Training Award
Specialties: Internal Medicine, Pulmonology
Primary research interests: Epithelial defence mechanisms, innate immunity, noninvasive diagnostics in respiratory medicine
Societies: Member of the European Respiratory Society (ERS)

Andreas Rembert Koczulla, MD
University Hospital Giessen and Marburg
Department for Internal Medicine,
Division for Pulmonology Diseases
Baldingerstr. 1
35043 Marburg
Telephone: +49 (0) 64 21 / 286 - 27 04
Fax: +49 (0) 64 21 / 286 - 37 04