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  • Southside

Cystic Fibrosis research plan for Crumlin hospital

Wednesday, 19th April, 2017 6:00pm
Cystic Fibrosis research plan for Crumlin hospital

Four-year-old Alfie Dardis, from Stepaside, is pictured with Professor Paul McNally at the announcement of the first Cystic Fibrosis research programme in Ireland between the RCSI and the National Childrenā€™s Research Centre. PHOTO: MAXWELPHOTOGRAPH

Cystic Fibrosis research plan for Crumlin hospital

Four-year-old Alfie Dardis, from Stepaside, is pictured with Professor Paul McNally at the announcement of the first Cystic Fibrosis research programme in Ireland between the RCSI and the National Childrenā€™s Research Centre. PHOTO: MAXWELPHOTOGRAPH

THE RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) and the National Children’s Research Centre (NCRC) announced an exciting new partnership last week that is aimed at strengthening paediatric Cystic Fibrosis (CF) research at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin.

The €1.1 million research programme that will run for five years will focus entirely on children with CF.

It is aimed at strengthening paediatric CF research at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital to enable research findings to be translated into medical practice.

It will be the first dedicated national paediatric CF research programme in Ireland.

It will enable new avenues of research into early CF lung disease in children to be developed, and a plan for a substantial translational research and innovation centre at the new children’s hospital to be established.

It will also strengthen links between the NCRC, which is funded entirely through donations to the CMRF, and specialist paediatric CF centres across Ireland. 

Professor Ray Stallings, RCSI Director of Research, said they were delighted to join forces and collaborate with NCRC to develop Ireland’s first national paediatric CF research programme in Ireland.

“As an exclusively health sciences focused institution, the RCSI is uniquely placed to develop and enhance translational research for the benefit of patients,” he said. “Translational research links basic science research with relevant clinical questions and the aim of this research partnership is to keep young CF lungs healthy.”

The focus of the research is to develop biomarkers of lung disease in Cystic Fibrosis that will help to detect early lung disease in young children.

Early detection and treatment will reduce disease progression and improve quality of life. This new initiative links the clinical team at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin led by Prof Paul McNally, and the basic science team led by Dr Judith Coppinger. 

Dr Jacinta Kelly, NCRC Chief Executive, added: “This is a very exciting research partnership which will put Irish research at the forefront of paediatric CF research.

“Ireland has one of the highest incidences of Cystic Fibrosis in the world and as a direct consequence of this it has become a hub for international researchers hoping to find a cure.

“The development of a national paediatric CF programme will bring together research, clinical trials and clinical care for the benefit of patients.”

There are more than 600 children and 700 adults in Ireland with CF and one in 19 Irish people carry a CF gene mutation, making it the most common hereditary condition in children in the country.

CF is a progressive disease that can have a huge burden of treatment on children and their families and usually increases over time.

Although survival rates have improved, it is still a debilitating condition and can result in early death from respiratory failure.

RCSI is ranked in the top 250 institutions worldwide in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2016-2017).

It is an international not-for-profit health sciences institution, with its headquarters in Dublin, focused on education and research to drive improvements in human health worldwide.

The National Children’s Research Centre, Crumlin is over 50 years old and was the first dedicated research centre on the site of an Irish hospital.

Today, it offers state-of-the-art research laboratories, and a children’s clinical research unit at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, where clinical trials and studies take place.

Together, these facilities allow the NCRC to support full bench to bedside research for children.

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