Hand holds an illustration of lungs

£1.4m for new Strategic Research Centres focusing on cystic fibrosis

£1.4 million in co-funding has been announced by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, to support two new Strategic Research Centres investigating key research priorities outlined by people with cystic fibrosis.

The centres will be led by the University of Sheffield and University College London, with both to begin work next month. They are described as “virtual centres of excellence” which support “scientists and other specialists around the world to work together to address specific issues arising from cystic fibrosis”.

Sheffield’s Strategic Research Centre will focus on a “new type of magnetic resonance imaging” which “could be used to track subtle changes in lung health over time”, which the university says could potentially be used to support the day-to-day health of people with cystic fibrosis. Researchers will be based at the universities of Sheffield, Nottingham and Manchester.

The second Strategic Research Centre, led by University College London, aims to develop understanding on how the flow of bicarbonate in different organs is affected by cystic fibrosis, which researchers hope could inform future treatment choices and support understanding about the disease outside the lungs.

Dr Paola Vergani from University College London, said: “We’re delighted to receive this SRC funding. It will allow a diverse group of CF experts around Europe to work together more easily and make faster progress. We hope that our lab-based studies will generate ideas on how to treat CF in the future, with medicines more suited to individuals based on the form of CF they have and the severity of different symptoms.”

Last year, we covered the launch of the King’s Centre for lung health led by various London based clinicians and academics to aid the discovery of new treatments, diagnoses and drugs to support lung disease.

In related news around research projects, a new UK Rare Disease Research Platform is being co-funded by the NIHR and MRC which aims to “bring together research teams across the UK with patients, stakeholders and technologies to deliver rare disease research with greater impact.”