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Full NameProfessor Paul McNally

Department:Department of Paediatrics

Organisation:Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Email Address:Email hidden; Javascript is required.

Research Fields

  • Other

Other Research Fields:

Infection, Inflammation and Lung Disease in Cystic Fibrosis

Postgrad Medical Specialties

  • Medicine
  • Paediatrics
  • Radiology

Medical Subspecialties

  • Respiratory Medicine

My Work

The paediatric CF group in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin (OLCHC) and the National Children’s Research Centre (NCRC) are focused on maintaining a strong interconnected hub of clinical care, clinical research, basic science research, translational research and clinical trials. We are part of a national network for clinical research in children with CF.

Our core clinical research study, the Study of Host Immunity and Early Lung Disease in CF (SHIELD CF) is a long term biobanking study established in 2010 where we collect biological samples (blood, urine, BAL, throat swabs, airway cells), non-invasive lung function testing and clinical information annually in preschool children with CF from 3 paediatric CF centres. After age 6 we have pulmonary function and radiological outcome measures into adolescence.

We have a specific clinical interest in non-invasive biomarkers of disease activity in children with CF. Our basic science group led by Dr Judith Coppinger has an interest in BAL biomarkers of disease and is currently working in the area of exosomes. SHIELD CF is designed in such a way as to invite collaborations from other research groups and broaden the scope and reach of the study.

Potential Projects

The purpose of the basic construct of SHIELD CF is to generate an ongoing and longitudinal vehicle where biological samples, clinical information and outcome measures (clinical, pathological, radiological, pulmonary function) are continuously collected and logged over time. This extensive and continuously growing bank of data and samples lends itself to longitudinal clinical studies, basic science collaborations, translational studies and interventional studies. The link with the on-site laboratories and basic science team allows researchers to avail of the strong translational nature of the research team.

We have several current project streams including:

The CF Urinary Biomarker study (CUBS) is a 3 phase project designed to look at the ability of biomarkers in the urine to predict 1) exacerbations requiring treatment and 2) the development of bronchiectasis at school age in children with cystic fibrosis.

The PALM study (Protease Activity Lung Measurement): This long term study aims to determine which proteases and anti-proteases are active in the early CF lung, whether overall protease activity (and which components) is a risk factor for lung disease progression.

AIM CF (Airway Microbiome in CF) is a longitudinal study looking to examine the development of the airway microbiome in infants and pre-schoolers with CF and to determine if alterations in the microbiome are associated with antibiotic use, pulmonary inflammation and lung function outcomes.

Given the setup of the centre and the biobank, and its place in the research network, new projects or ideas can quickly generate data and have relevant clinical endpoints.