Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a condition caused by mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein, leading to increased susceptibility to mucus build-up, infection, and inflammation in the lungs and gastrointestinal tract. In June 2021, a new medication called elexacaftor/tezacaftor/ivacaftor (ETI; TRIKAFTA), made up of three drugs that restore CFTR function, was approved in Canada, which has potential to greatly improve the lives of Canadians living with CF. While it is evident that TRIKAFTA improves lung function, respiratory symptoms, and reduces the risk of exacerbation events (periods of worsening symptoms that can lead to hospitalization) in most patients, it is not clear how ETI therapy changes the inflammation and immune status of patients and what impact this has on their health.
The study project will involve the proteomic and transcriptomic analysis of blood biomarkers in relation to clinical outcomes including respiratory symptoms following the initiation of ETI. The student will enrol in the UBC Experimental Medicine MSc program and all experiments will be conducted at the Quon Lab in the UBC/St. Paul's Hospital Centre for Heart Lung Innovation.
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