The Elborn/Tunney Group

The Elborn group has research programmes focussed on cystic fibrosis (CF) and bronchiectasis.

In CF there are three main areas of focus. 

  1. The role of anerobic bacteria in pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis.  This is combined with investigations into the normal airways microbiome and how this is altered in CF and bronchiectasis. 
  2. Cystic fibrosis clinical trials.  The group is heavily involved in early clinical trials across a range of therapies for cystic fibrosis.  This is primarily focussed on potential disease modifying drugs aimed at the basic defect.  Stuart Elborn has been involved in the recent development of Ivacaftor for G551D mutations and is starting clinical trials in the R117H mutation.  This is a paradigm of stratified medicine.  He is also involved in development programmes with Novartis for potentiators and correctors and sodium channel inhibitors. 
  3. Outcomes measures.  The Elborn group are leading in the development of multiple breath washout measurements of lung clearance index in adults with cystic fibrosis.  They also support studies in patient outcome measures such as quality of life and exercise related outcomes. 


The research programme in bronchiectasis reflects cystic fibrosis with involvement in studies examining infection and inflammation in the airways of patients with bronchiectasis and involvement in clinical trials including completion of a recent investigator led study of hypertonic saline in bronchiectasis. 

In COPD there is a small programme examining the role of cigarette smoke extract and infection in the airways and the group also conduct a number of clinical trials.  A further part of their research programme is the assessment of new anti inflammatory agents in Phase I clinical trials using lipopolysaccharide inhalation models developed by Danny McAuley in our Centre.  The group has recently completed an extensive Phase I Programme with a SHIP 1 inhibitor.