Queensland’s first cystic fibrosis research program will be established to help improve outcomes for patients living with the life-threatening genetic disorder in Australia. The Queensland Cystic Fibrosis Research Program receives $15 million form the University of Queensland, U.S.-based Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Children’s Hospital Foundation, Department of Health Medical Research Future Fund, and an anonymous donor.
A New Research Era
Could this collaborative endeavor usher in a new research era for Cystic Fibrosis in Australia? Help is needed. A genetic disorder impacting lungs but also vital organs such as the pancreas, liver, kidneys and intenstines, long-term issues include a number of lung problem resulting from this inherited, autosomal recessive disease. It is caused by the presence of mutations in both copies of the gene for the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein. Those with a single working copy are carriers and otherwise mostly healthy.
Children’s Hospital Foundation Chief Executive Officer Ms. Rosie Simpson noted that the Queensland Cystic Fibrosis Research Program represented an exciting opportunity to make a meaningful and enduring impact in the lives and children living with cystic fibrosis.
Although the prognosis has improved much more needs to be done to understand why lung function declines starting at childhood. Ms. Simpson reports that “Between 60 and 70 babies are diagnosed with cystic fibrosis in Australia every year, and about 450 children are treated for the disease at the Queensland Children’s Hospital annually.
The Research Program
The research will be carried out in partnership with Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service, the Metro North Hospital and Health Service and The Prince Charles Hospital. With a focus on two research projects—including 1) the Early Life of Origins of CF Lung disease (the ELO study) and 2) the Myobacterium abscessus (MABS) pulmonary disease program.
Professor Claire Wainwright, Peter Sly and Scott Bell will lead the Queensland Cystic Fibrosis research tram. See their profiles:
Call to Action: Interested in cystic fibrosis research in Australia? Consider following this new group. Sign up for TrialSite News and get daily updates.