Qi Ni

Qi Ni

Qi Ni

Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Microbiology (LPM)
Universiteit Gent
Ottergemsesteenweg 460
B-9000 Gent - Belgium

Tel: 32 - (0) 9 264 80 93
Fax: 32 - (0) 9 264 81 95

E-mail: qi.ni@ugent.be

list of publications

Qi Ni obtained her degree in Master of Science at Southwest University of China in 2016. She was awarded with a doctoral fellowship of the China Scholarship Council (CSC) to join LPM in October 2016. Her Phd research aims at exploring the role of the lung microbiome in early inflammatory responses leading to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

COPD is the fourth leading cause of mortalitiy worldwide, and there is an urgent need to find appropriate therapeutic approaches to deal with the lung inflammation in this patient population. The leadng cause of COPD is tobacco smoke exposure, whereas air pollution also contributes signigicantly, especially in China. From the initial description of COPD as a distinct clinical condition responsible for productive cough and shortness of breath, there has been considerably controversy about the role of lower respiratory tract bacteria in this pathogenesis. This controversy arose largely because classical, culture-based studies suggested thath the lungs of healthy individuals were sterile, while the lungs of COPD patients were believed to be colonized by bacteria. More recently, culture-independent microbiological techniques demonstrated that healthy lungs are not sterile and documented changes in the lung microbiome (i.e. , the collection of commensal, symbiotic and pathogenic microorganisms that inhabit the airways) in several lung diseases, such as asthma, COPD, and cystic fibrosis (CF). However, the role of the lun bacterial microbiome in COPD pathogenesis and progression remains undefined.

The aim of Qi's research is to elucidate the role of the COPD microbiome in pollutant-induced early pro-inflammatory responses using advanced in vitro cell-based models. Her research may lay the foundations for therapeutic interventions in COPD patients that targest the lung microbiome.