Maud Pijnenburg


PhD candidate, Department of Pathology and Medical Biology, University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), the Netherlands, 2022 –

MSc, Molecular Nutrition and Toxicology, Wageningen University and Research, the Netherlands, 2018 – 2021

BSc, Nutrition and Health, Wageningen University and Research, the Netherlands, 2014 – 2016


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a prevalent, disabling lung disease characterized by mucus hypersecretion (chronic bronchitis) and/or destruction of functional gas-exchange units (emphysema). In the Netherlands ~600.000 patients suffer from the disease, which will further increase as our population ages. COPD has substantial socioeconomic impact due to high mortality, morbidity and prevalence of comorbidities. Primary lung failure in combination with skeletal muscle dysfunction, a major systemic manifestation of the disease, results in reduced quality of life of patients and family, considerable loss of work participation and a high healthcare burden.

Mitochondrial failure has been proposed to drive lung and muscle pathology in COPD. These defects may result in impaired epithelial regeneration, leading to hampered mucociliary clearance and loss of alveolar structure. MITOREG aims to reveal the intricate interplay between mitochondrial function and tissue regeneration.


Keywords: COPD, mitochondrial function, epithelium, tissue regeneration