A bright young researcher’s quest to understand why cells in the lungs of children with cystic fibrosis do not heal or reduce inflammation has earned him a national award in recognition of his work.
Dr Abdullah Tarique, from The University of Queensland's Child Health Research Centre, received the Anne Maree Bosch Career Fellowship from Cystic Fibrosis Australia, an advocacy and support organisation for people living with the disease.
Dr Tarique said he was proud to receive the award, presented at a gala dinner by Sir Peter Cosgrove, Governor General and patron of Cystic Fibrosis Australia.
“Ann Maree Bosch was a dedicated coordinator at Cystic Fibrosis Australia who passed away last March and her family made the decision to honour her memory by supporting young researchers conducting work in the field of cystic fibrosis,” Dr Tarique said.
“Given its significance, it’s an incredible honour to be the recipient of the inaugural award. “
Dr Tarique said the support would allow him to expand on his PhD, which showed that anti-inflammatory and wound repairing white cells (known as M2 macrophages) are absent in the lung tissue of children with cystic fibrosis.
“Cystic fibrosis is characterised by chronic inflammation in the lungs and the absence of M2 macrophages explains why inflammation in cystic fibrosis is never ending and why the wounds of CF lungs never heal,” he said.
“My current research seeks to understand the molecular defects that lead to the absence of anti-inflammatory and wound repairing M2 macrophages in CF.
“We hope that this information will help us to develop therapies to prevent and treat inflammation and lung scarring and ensure children with cystic fibrosis can look forward to better health outcomes in the future.”