$15M Donation to Support CF Research Program at University of Queensland

$15M Donation to Support CF Research Program at University of Queensland

The University of Queensland (UQ), in Australia, has launched its Queensland Cystic Fibrosis Research Program with a goal of improving the life of people with this disease.

This research program is supported by $15 million donation put together by several sources: the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in the U.S., and in Australia, UQ together with the Children’s Hospital Foundation, the department of health Medical Research Future Fund, and an anonymous donor.

While treatment advances over decades have improved the health and longevity of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients, more studies are needed to understand disease-related issues like lung function decline and resistance to essential antibiotics.

“Despite improvements in general health, the CF community face significant issues such as premature loss of lung function, progressive lung disease, and antibiotic resistance,” Peter Sly, a program co-leader and UQ respiratory specialist, said in a news release. “Respiratory failure is common and can lead to the need for lung transplantation or early death.”

Sly will lead the Queensland Cystic Fibrosis Research Program together with two UQ professors, Clair Wainwright and Scott Bell.

A program focus is two planned projects: the Early Life Origins of CF Lung Disease (ELO), and the Mycobacterium abscessus (MABS) pulmonary disease program.

The Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) is made up of a group of nontuberculosis mycobacteria (NTM) responsible for about 70% of CF pulmonary infections. Mycobacterium abscessus is one type of NTM increasingly found in people with CF, and it can chronically infect the airways. According to the CF Foundation, much remains to be learned about NTM infections in CF patients, and more studies are needed to identify NTM risk factors and to develop new ways of treating such infections.

“The Children’s Hospital Foundation is proud to partner with UQ and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to fund this important work that strives to deliver improved health outcomes, better quality of life, and longer life expectancy for cystic fibrosis patients,” said Rosie Simpson, the foundation’s chief executive officer.

“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,” Simpson added.

Apart from the Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service, the Metro North Hospital and Health Service, and Prince Charles Hospital, will also be involved in the new research program.

“The Queensland Cystic Fibrosis Research Program will improve outcomes for patients with CF in Queensland and elsewhere,” Sly said.

More than 70,000 individuals are estimated to live with CF worldwide, including 30,000 in the United States.

Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of a Society of Professional Journalistsv award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
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Patrícia holds her PhD in Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases from the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, The Netherlands. She has studied Applied Biology at Universidade do Minho and was a postdoctoral research fellow at Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Lisbon, Portugal. Her work has been focused on molecular genetic traits of infectious agents such as viruses and parasites.
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Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of a Society of Professional Journalistsv award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
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