Five things to look forward to at UKCFC

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Innovation and research, the changes and challenges in life with cystic fibrosis (CF), and the future of therapies… the UK Cystic Fibrosis Conference 2019 (UKCFC) is just around the corner and this is not one to miss!

UKCF conference 2019

UKCFC is the largest UK event dedicated to care and research in CF, bringing together researchers, clinicians and the whole CF community.

Day one showcases the latest pipeline of international CF research and innovation, while day two will focus on the day-to-day impact of CF and ways that people are tackling them both personally and professionally. This year the conference is taking place on 26 and 27 September at the Kia Oval in Kennington, London.

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So what can you expect to see at this year’s conference?

Reducing the burden of care

Our mission is to create a world where being born with CF no longer means a lifelong burden of care. With this in mind, some of our speakers will be providing updates on the research we’re supporting to transform the lives of those living with cystic fibrosis. You’ll hear about advances in digital health technologies designed to improve the length and quality of life for people with CF, as well as learn about the feasibility of home monitoring in children.

The session will close with an interactive discussion, where we've invited a panel of professionals and people with CF to discuss with our researchers how they hope this will benefit people living with CF and their families in the future. Three out of the four people with CF from our panel will be joining us virtually due to cross-infection

Battle of the bugs, and looking at lungs

We’ll be showcasing our three latest Strategic Research Centres, including two pioneering researchers taking new approaches to bugs within cystic fibrosis.

Dr Darius Armstrong-James’ Trust-funded programme explores a different way of tackling Aspergillus fumigatus, the fungal lung infection affecting approximately 15% of people with cystic fibrosis. He hopes to gain a better understanding of how some people with CF develop Aspergillus-related complications and some don’t, and aims to create a personalised approach to treating infections.

Dr Martin Welch will focus on the common bacterial infection Pseudomonas aeruginosa and the unanswered question in CF research of ‘Why Pseudomonas likes the CF lung?’. Dr Welch and his team anticipate their research will provide the clues that could lead to designing new, more effective antibiotics for it. 

Our third new SRC, led by Professor Pietro Cicuta, investigates the under-explored parts of lung clearance, specifically the physics of how the hairs on the outside of the cells beat. They will also study the properties of the liquid layer that the hairs beat away, a process that ordinarily should keep the lungs clean.

In this session you’ll also hear about a new partnership to speed up the search for new antibiotics for people with cystic fibrosis.

Challenges & changes

Advances in our understanding of CF mean people with the condition are living longer than ever; however progress can bring its own challenges. On the second day of the conference, two people with CF will take part in a live virtual conversation, sharing their experiences of the challenges, concerns and happiness of growing older with cystic fibrosis. We’ll also discuss the changing face of CF treatment and its impact on the emotional wellbeing of children and young people fighting CF every day.

A peek into the future

woman with blonde curly hair wearing glasses and a navy blue shirt with a lanyard

Don’t miss our award-winning key note speaker, Dr Lisa Strug, coming to the conference all the way from SickKids in Toronto, Canada.

As we learn more about CF, we see lots of variation in what symptoms develop and how, what bugs people grow and how people respond to treatments. This is due to an individual’s CFTR mutations, their environment and other non-CFTR genes referred to as modifier genes. Dr Strug helped to pioneer the statistical tools to discover these hard-to-find modifier genes, demonstrating that modifiers can predict who will respond to CTFR precision medicines.

She is now in partnership with industry to champion the search for modifier-directed therapies for CF and other lung diseases.

CF’s Got Talent returns!

This popular event is an opportunity for our early-career researchers to share their amazing work with people with CF and their families in a format that is easy to understand. We invest millions of pounds into cutting-edge research every year – so cutting edge that it can be a little hard to make sense of at times – but CF’s Got Talent! presents this research in a jargon-free way. It’s a fantastic and unique opportunity for young scientists to learn from the experience of people living with CF, to train in the art of public speaking, and to explain their research to the CF community, which will benefit from their work. Following these presentations, our online audience can vote on the best presentation and choose the winner so make sure you are live streaming the conference if you can’t make it down on the day!

This is just a snapshot of what’s to come at this year’s conference; you can view a more detailed agenda for both days. We will also be using the audience-interaction tool 'Slido' for the first time, giving you the chance to ask questions and engage with our speakers throughout the day, both in person or live streaming at home. 

Above all, UKCFC 2019 will demonstrate how with your support we bring about change for those with CF and their families; how we continue to fight for a life unlimited; and how, by working together, we can and will beat cystic fibrosis.

Tickets for day one and day two of the conference are still available and we would love for you to show your support. If you can’t be there in person you can live stream the conference (more information on the website closer to the time). If you have any questions please email

Funding the ground-breaking research we showcase at UKCFC is made possible by incredible people like you. You can give online or sign up for a regular donation and play a vital role in the fight for a life unlimited by cystic fibrosis.

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