Globally, 3 out of 5 persons lose their lives to chronic inflammatory conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, skin diseases, renal diseases and obesity. Inflammatory diseases are the most prevailing cause of death worldwide and the numbers keep rising.

The network focuses on reducing the burden of infectious and inflammatory diseases caused by pathogens, damaged cells, toxic compounds or radiation in order to develop new diagnostic and treatment technologies.

As a society, we need more knowledge about the correlation between e.g. inflammation and development of cancer, about biomarkers and about molecular mechanisms of autoimmunity in e.g. rheumatological conditions - not to mention chronic mucosal inflammation. In the inflammation network we collaborate interdisciplinearily in order to find answers.

We comprise a wide range of researchers with interest in diagnostic methods, epidemiological data, inflammatory markers and intracellular pathways, understanding of cell population and tissue structures, among others.

Subject-specific programmes for PhD students

The subject-specific PhD programme in inflammation at Aarhus University, Health, offers an in-depth, multidisciplinary study of inflammation's role in diseases and prevention, addressing its significant role in both non-communicable diseases (NCD) and infections.

For more information about the subject-specific programmes: Subject-specific programmes, Graduate School of Health (

Focus groups

Paper of the Month

David Pierre Christophe Olagnier

Nature Communications 2024

Read the paper here.

Why is the paper important?

The study is of high importance to the scientific and clinical society studying the ways to combat cancer diseases where traditional methods of treatment are not applicable. In addition, it is relevant to the immunological community studying metabolite-derived drugs and their capacities to modulate cellular immunity.

How does this paper challenge previous concepts / and or advance inflammation and infection field?

This research resulted in a unique proviral and anticancer effect of 4-OI in combination with the therapeutic oncolytic virus VSVD51. This can be conflicting, in an interesting way, with previous studies including our own where 4-OI was shown to be antiviral with pathogenic viruses including SARS-CoV2, Zika Virus and HSV-1 and-2.

The main findings of the paper

Oncolytic virotherapy is a unique immunotherapeutic approach to treat malignancies where viral agents are engineered to selectively target and eliminate cancer cells. Through their oncolytic activity and the release of tumour antigens, these viruses transform the tumour into an immunologically "hot" environment, making it more visible and recognizable to the immune system. The viral oncolytic agent used in the study is Vesicular Stomatitis Virus D51 (VSVD51), a virus that has high oncolytic capacities and displays less pre-existing immunity towards it in patients due to the low prevalence of VSV within humans. Specifically, VSVD51 represents an attenuated agricultural pathogen that is sensitive to the action of interferons (IFNs) to improve its safety profile for patients. Indeed, many tumours carry defects in their IFN signalling to promote a tumorogenic environment and can be targeted for this feature. However, VSVD51 did not enter clinical trials because of the heterogeneity of cancer disease where some tumour cells had intact IFN signalling and were resistant to VSVD51 infection. The given research represents a novel approach to enhance the effectiveness of oncolytic VSVD51 therapy with a metabolite-derived drug, 4-Octyl-Itaconate, that reduces the antiviral IFN-signaling through direct targeting of MAVS abd IKKb in cancers resistant to viral infections.

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Anja P. Einholm

Network Coordinator

Student worker, network