Simon D. (Daan) Pouwels


Assistant Professor, Department of Pulmonary Diseases, University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), The Netherlands, 2023 – 

Post-doctoral project, Department of Pulmonology, University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG),  The Netherlands, 2019 –2023

Post-doctoral fellow, University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), The Netherlands, 2017 – 2019

Post-doctoral project, Department of Analytical Chemistry,University of Groningen,  The Netherlands, 2015 – 2017

PhD, cum laude, University of Groningen,  The Netherlands, 2017, 

Thesis title: DAMPs, endogenous danger signals fueling airway inflammation in COPD.

MSc, Biomedical Sciences, University of Groningen,  The Netherlands, 2011

BSc,  Medical Biology, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, 2009


My research line focuses on identifying the role of Damage Associated Molecular Patterns (DAMPs) and their receptors in the pathophysiology of COPD, with a special focus on the DAMP receptor RAGE. We analyze levels of panels of DAMPs in various cohorts, investigate the cellular and molecular responses towards COPD triggers, e.g cigarette smoke, as well as investigate the immune reaction which is initiated by DAMPs.

Keywords: COPD, DAMPs, innate immune system, cigarette smoke, biomarkers, cell death, RAGE

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Joglekar, MM, Bekker, NJ, Koloko Ngassie, ML, Vonk, JM, Borghuis, T, Reinders-Luinge, M et al.. The lung extracellular matrix protein landscape in severe early-onset and moderate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2024; :. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00332.2023. PubMed PMID:38915286 .

Faiz, A, Wiersma, VR, Salzbrunn, JB, Brandsma, CA, Timens, W, Burgess, JK et al.. COPD Patients Display Increased Peripheral Blood Somatic Mutations Which Associate With the Prevalence of Co-morbidities. Arch Bronconeumol. 2024;60 (2):119-121. doi: 10.1016/j.arbres.2023.12.011. PubMed PMID:38212182 .

Thiam, F, Faiz, A, Pouwels, SD, Osei, ET. Editorial: Next generation in vitro models to study chronic pulmonary diseases. Front Med (Lausanne). 2023;10 :1338939. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2023.1338939. PubMed PMID:38116037 PubMed Central PMC10728868.

Faiz, A, Mahbub, RM, Boedijono, FS, Tomassen, MI, Kooistra, W, Timens, W et al.. IL-33 Expression Is Lower in Current Smokers at both Transcriptomic and Protein Levels. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2023;208 (10):1075-1087. doi: 10.1164/rccm.202210-1881OC. PubMed PMID:37708400 PubMed Central PMC10867944.

Gupta, A, Burgess, JK, Slebos, DJ, Pouwels, SD. The development, validation, and in vivo testing of a high-precision bronchial epithelial lining fluid sampling device. Front Med (Lausanne). 2023;10 :1172622. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2023.1172622. PubMed PMID:37564050 PubMed Central PMC10410264.

Baalbaki, N, Blankestijn, JM, Abdel-Aziz, MI, de Backer, J, Bazdar, S, Beekers, I et al.. Precision Medicine for More Oxygen (P4O2)-Study Design and First Results of the Long COVID-19 Extension. J Pers Med. 2023;13 (7):. doi: 10.3390/jpm13071060. PubMed PMID:37511673 PubMed Central PMC10381397.

Pouwels, SD, Sigaeva, A, de Boer, S, Eichhorn, IA, Koll, L, Kuipers, J et al.. Host-device interactions: exposure of lung epithelial cells and fibroblasts to nickel, titanium, or nitinol affect proliferation, reactive oxygen species production, and cellular signaling. J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2023;34 (7):38. doi: 10.1007/s10856-023-06742-2. PubMed PMID:37486435 PubMed Central PMC10366254.

Roodenburg, SA, Pouwels, SD, Klooster, K, Touw, DJ, Slebos, DJ. Endobronchial Valve Treatment Does Not Cause Significant Nickel Deposition in Lung Tissue. Respiration. 2023;102 (6):454-457. doi: 10.1159/000529889. PubMed PMID:37231891 .

Pouwels, SD, van den Berge, M, Vasse, GF, Timens, W, Brandsma, CA, Aliee, H et al.. Smoking increases expression of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein-binding long ACE2 isoform in bronchial epithelium. Respir Res. 2023;24 (1):130. doi: 10.1186/s12931-023-02430-5. PubMed PMID:37170105 PubMed Central PMC10174605.

Kole, TM, Pouwels, SD, Bults, R, Ketelaar, ME, Guryev, V, Koll, L et al.. Airway wall splice quantitative trait locus analysis reveals novel downstream mechanisms for known asthma single-nucleotide polymorphisms. ERJ Open Res. 2023;9 (2):. doi: 10.1183/23120541.00413-2022. PubMed PMID:37020836 PubMed Central PMC10068516.

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2022               ZonMW Open Competition grant, €766,319.- (co-applicant)            

2022               ZonMW VENI grant, personal grant, €280,000.- (main applicant)

2021               UMCG Public Private Partnership allowance grant, €445,720.- (main applicant)

2021               UTS Sydney – Cross Disciplinary Research Grant 2021, $30,000.- (co-applicant)

2021               P4O2 – Precision medicine for more Oxygen, €14,500,000.- (co-applicant)

2020               P4O2 COVID-19 grant, €2,000,000.- (co-applicant)

2019               Noordelijke CARA Stichting, Research Grant, €5,000.-

2016               Noordelijke CARA Stichting, Research Grant, €4,500.-

2016               The Dutch Lung Foundation, Young Investigator Grant, €200,000.-

2015               J.C. de Cock Foundation, Research Grant, €4,000.-

2014                J.C. de Cock Foundation, Research Grant, €4,000.-

2013                Stichting Astma Bestrijding Research Grant, €13,000.-

2023               American Thoracic Society Ann Woolcock Memorial Award, $500.-

2022               American Thoracic Society Rising Stars of Research Award, $500.-

2022               HTRIC Research Award 2022, €260,000.-

2019               SAB Best Paper Award, €2,500.-

2018               ERS Young Scientist Sponsorship, €600.-

2017               NVVI Van Bekkum Best Thesis Award, €1,000.-

2017               KNG Van Swinderen Thesis Award 2nd price,  €1,000.-

2017               2017 ATS Washington, Abstract Scholarship, RCMB Assembly, $500.-

2015               Abstract scholarship, National Emphysema Foundation, ATS Denver, $500.-

2013                ERS travel grant, 11th ERS Lung Science Conference, Estoril, Portugal, €550.-

2013                NRS Young Investigator Travel Grant, 15th ICI, Milan, Italy, €1,250.-

2013                ECDO best abstract travel grant, 21st ECDO, Paris, France, €500.-

2013                Chiési NRS Young Investigator Award, €5,000.-

2013                Immunotools Special Award, €1,000.-