In terms of disease incidence and mortality, lung diseases are ranked second in the world and are directly or indirectly responsible for every fifth death. The annual cost of lung diseases amounts to 102 billion euros alone for Western Europe. It is expected that the number of patients and thus also the costs will continue to rise in the coming years. To date, there are no cures for most respiratory diseases – just symptomatic treatments. For these reasons it is even more important to conduct research to develop new approaches and options for prevention, diagnosis and therapy. In the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), the leading German research institutes have therefore joined together to combat the most important lung diseases through translational research.