Staff news

Medical innovators awarded

Professor David Porteous, the University’s Chair of Human Molecular Genetics & Medicine, has been recognised in the Medical Futures Innovation Awards.

Professor David Porteous
Professor David Porteous

The Medical Futures Innovation Awards are Europe’s leading showcase of early-stage innovations in healthcare.

Double winner

Professor Porteous won two awards as part of a team comprising researchers from the University of Oxford and Imperial College, London.

The team developed a cystic fibrosis gene therapy research concept that could lead to major health benefits for cystic fibrosis sufferers.

The project won Best Therapeutic Innovation in the Respiratory Innovation Awards and also Best Translational Research Innovation Award.

Cystic fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is caused by a faulty gene that causes thickened secretions to line the lungs and digestive tract.

This leads to breathing difficulties and digestive problems in patients, who face progressive disability and often, premature death.

More than two million people are carriers for the faulty gene that causes the condition.

Treatment hope

The team believes its gene therapy will provide new medical treatment for cystic fibrosis by reducing health problems and early deaths caused by clogged up lungs.

The group of researchers has developed a new method of putting healthy genes into the cells of cystic fibrosis patients using a novel, friendly virus.

The virus, once within the lung, should prevent the build-up of sticky mucus.