Current Projects

Current Research Projects

CF Ireland is currently joint funding one research projects through the MRCG/HRB Joint Funding Scheme. A synopsis of each of this research project is outlined below:


National Prevalence of Depression and Anxiety in Patients with Cystic Fibrosis and Parents: Impact on Health and Quality of Life

Principal Investigator: Prof Eileen Savage

Institution: UCC


This is an Irish national study to find out how many patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) (aged 12 years and over) and parents of children with CF experience depression and anxiety and how they influence health outcomes such as pulmonary function, weight, and quality of life. A similar study has been carried out in various European countries as well as the US and Canada (known as the TIDES study) To date, the extent of depression and anxiety among people with CF and their parents is not known, and so this study will be the first of its kind in Ireland. The study will also include a measure of positive health and well-being. Adults and children over 12 years of age with CF and parents of children with CF from birth to 18 years will be invited to take part in the study. They will be asked to complete questionnaires that measure depression, anxiety, mental well-being, and quality of life.  Health information (i.e. lung function, body weight, admission to hospital) will be collected from patients’ medical notes. The findings will help us to draw attention to the psychological and emotional aspects of iving with CF which will have implications for clinical support, resources and services.  


Recently completed research project

The Role of Mucus and Mucins in Mediating Pseudomonas aeruginosa Colonisation of the Cystic Fibrosis Lung

Principal Investigator: Dr. Marguerite Clyne

Institution: UCD School of Medicine and Medical Science

Co-Applicants: Dr. Valerie Urbach, National Childrens Research Centre, Dr. Paul McNally, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital and Dr. Barry Linnane, Mid Western Regional Hospital, Limerick.


Individuals with CF get bacterial infections in the lung which leads to a decline in lung function and to respiratory failure. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacteria which causes a lot of infection in CF patients, lives in mucus that accumulates in the lungs of people with CF. In this environment it forms biofilms, clusters of bacteria coated in material that holds them together, which makes the bacteria very difficult to treat with antibiotics. We aim to study how the bacteria behave when grown in the laboratory with cells that secrete mucus similar to the mucus in the lung. We will determine the role of mucus in promoting biofilm formation by the bacteria and in developing antibiotic resistance. Binding of bacteria to mucins, large proteins present in mucus, is thought to be a mechanism that helps the bacteria to prevent being removed by the natural defense system of the patient. We aim to test the potential of purified mucins to prevent bacteria from sticking to mucus. By determining the role of mucus and of specific components of mucus in promoting bacterial infection and the formation of biofilms we can look at ways to develop new molecules, which would be alternatives to antibiotics that would prevent infection. 

Click here for a full list of research projects previously funded by CF Ireland.