Cystic fibrosis research topics

Cystic fibrosis (CF) affects many different parts of the body, from the lungs to the pancreas. We are funding research into new treatments and a better understanding of topics that affect the lives of people with CF, so that everyone with CF can one day live a life unlimited by the condition.

  • Understanding and treating lung infections

    Most people with CF will contract a number of bacterial, fungal and viral infections throughout their lifetimes. Once these infections adapt to the environment of CF lungs they can be extremely difficult to treat. In some cases, the infections are becoming resistant to the strongest drugs that are available. We are funding research into some of the most common and dangerous CF infections, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Mycobacterium abscessus, to develop better treatments and detect infections faster.

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  • Understanding and treating the symptoms of CF

    Cystic fibrosis affects a number of different parts of the body, including the lungs, the liver, pancreas, gut and bones. This leads to a range of different symptoms such as long-term lung infections; CF-related diabetes; GI symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhoea; and joint pain. These symptoms can significantly increase burden of care and reduce quality of life. We are funding research into faster ways to detect the onset of these symptoms and better ways to manage them, and to achieve a greater understanding of their underlying causes.

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  • Tackling the underlying cause of CF

    Cystic fibrosis is caused by having two mutated copies of the CF gene, known as CFTR. The mutated gene leads to errors in the amount and function of the CF protein produced around the body. The most effective way of treating cystic fibrosis is to restore the function of the faulty CF protein or to correct the CF gene. Research is underway to treat this underlying cause of CF in a number of ways, both directly acting on the CF gene and protein, or by working indirectly to improve other areas of how cells work to compensate for the lack of healthy CF protein.

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  • Digital health research

    In the future the care of people with CF is likely to be personalised to each individual. This will encompass tailored approaches to treat the underlying cause of CF, to the ways that symptoms and complications are treated and to which medicines are used to tackle infections. Our digital health research programme allows researchers to understand CF on a person by person basis, with an additional goal of minimising disruption to day to day life.

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research scientist in the lab

Read our Research in focus reports

Our Research in focus reports give an overview of an aspect of CF where our funding is making a difference. 

Research we fund

We fund research to tackle some of the most pressing issues in CF today. Find out how your donations are making a difference.

What is CF?

Cystic fibrosis, or CF, affects the lungs, digestive system and other organs. There are around 11,000 people living with it in the UK.

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