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Day 1 // Students session:

Student session

Francy Crijns (Chairman)

Hogeschool Zuyd, NL

16:30 - Career perspectives in and outside academia

Bert Op ‘t Eijnde

BIOMED - Biomedical Research Institute, Hasselt University, BE

Florence Schleich

Florence Schleich


Curriculum vitae

PhD, thesis entitled «Clinical interest of airway inflammatory markers », December 2014.
6thComplementary Master in Pulmonology, 2011, University of Liege (ULg), Belgium : graduated with highest honours. Chest physician in CHU of Liege.
From October 2010 to February 2012: Lab research and Clinical activity in University of Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Since 2008: Member of I³GIGA Lab, University of Liege.
Secretary of ERS Group - 05.02 - Monitoring Airway Disease from September 2016 to September 2019.
ERS junior national deleguate for Belgium 2014.
Member of the European Respiratory Society, ERS Assembly 5.2.
Member of the Belgian Society of Pulmonology.
Member of the American Thoracic Society.

Author or co-author of more than 40 publications in the field of asthma and COPD

Awards and Fellowship :
-    FIRS 2013 CHU SartTilman Liege. Thermoplasty in severe paucigranulocutic asthma.
-    GSK Clinical Science Award in Pneumology 2013.
-    Pfizer Educational Grant, 2011.
-    Belgian Respiratory Society Short-Term Fellowship, 2011.
-    European Respiratory Society Short-Term Training Fellowship application 2011. Ref Number STRTF 80-2011.


VOC are able to discriminate between asthma inflammatory phenotypes and to identify neutrophilic asthma.
Schleich F1, Bessonov K2, Smolinska A3, Dallinga J3, Henket M1, Wouters E4, Van Steen K2, Van Schooten FJ3, Louis R1.
1 Respiratory Medicine, GIGA I3, CHU Sart-Tilman B35, 4000 Liege, Belgium. 2 , ³ Bioinformatics and Modeling, GIGA-R, University of Liege, 4000 Sart-Tilman, Belgium. 3Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School for Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism (NUTRIM), Maastricht University, The Netherlands, 4 Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC+), The Netherlands.

Body: Oxidative stress generates volatile organic compounds (VOCs) excreted in exhaled air. Induced sputum is currently the best available noninvasive assessment of bronchial inflammation in asthma and we currently lack of markers for airway neutrophilia.
The purpose of the study was to examine whether specific VOCs are associated with eosinophilic and neutrophilic inflammation for noninvasive monitoring of asthma inflammatory phenotypes.

This is a prospective study on 276 asthmatics recruited from the asthma clinic of CHU Liege between 2010 and 2014. Patient underwent VOCs measurement by GCMS analysis, FENO, spirometry with bronchodilation, sputum induction, blood sample and validated asthma control and quality of life questionnaires. One week later, a methacholine challenge was performed. We used conditional inference forests (CIFs) to rank features based on the ability of components to predict phenotypes.The chemical nature of the compounds was found in NIST Library.


3328 VOCs were detected in the exhaled air from eosinophilic (eos≥3%, n=122), neutrophilic (neutro≥76%, n=50) and paucigranulocytic (n=90) asthmatics. We filtered out components that were detected in <30 samples. When comparing VOCs from paucigranuloctytic to eosinophilic asthma, 3 components (P337, P903, P923) were good discriminators. We found that P2622 and P2853 were VOCs able to distinguish between neutrophilic and paucigranulocytic while peak 253 and 1913 were best for eosinophilic versus neutrophilic discrimination.
Our study is the first attempt to characterize VOCs according to sputum inflammatory phenotypes in a large asthmatic population. Our results show that VOCs analysis may be a valuable method to phenotype asthmatics.

Christina Egger

Hannover Medical School, DE

Tim Kampermann

PathoNostics B.V., NL

Wouter Uten

CEO, UgenTec B.V., Hasselt, BE

Johan Molling

Hogeschool Zuyd, NL

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