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    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I will support research programs in all aspects of CF and bronchiectasis care, this could include clinical trials, pulmonary exacerbation exploration, microbiology and basic science mechanisms.


Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research Statement

My main clinical research interest is cystic fibrosis (CF). I work with a range of colleagues that includes, clinicians, allied health professionals, a clinical research team and basic scientists to create a translational research program in CF. My focus is to optimise clinical response to established and new therapies.  I lead an active investigator-initiated and pharmaceutical-sponsored research program to help realise this. This is supported by national and international collaborative research networks. My investigator led projects currently involve,

  • Multi-modal analysis of pulmonary exacerbations in CF, exploring the potential for clinical and inflammatory biomarkers to predict response to treatment
  • The investigation and clinical application of novel biomarkers in CF
  • The bacterial impact of non-antimicrobial therapies in CF and repurposing drugs
  • The impact of co-morbidities in CF by deep patient phenotyping and utilising pre-clinical models to assess the mechanisms involved
  • Exploration of Patient Reported Outcome Measures for clinical trials
  • Interplay of bacteria and fungi in CF

I also lead the CF pharmaceutical-sponsored clinical trial program in Belfast and link closely with the Northern Ireland Clinical Research Network (NICRN)-Respiratory Health and the Wellcome-Wolfson Clinical Research Facility. In this program I am a Principal Investigator (PI) and Chief Investigator (CI) on a number of pivotal clinical trials. This includes a phase I-III program exploring new therapies in CF and bronchiectasis. 

I also have additional investigator led programs in bronchiectasis and pneumonia. My  projects currently involve, pathogen identification in community acquired pneumonia and assessing outcome measures in bronchiectasis.

Research Leadership

I am Director of the European CF Society – Clinical Trial Network (CTN) (www.ecfs.eu/ctn). This Network consists of 58 CF research centres located in 17 European countries. I provide strategic direction of CF clinical trials and regularly lead reviews of pharmaceutical industry trial protocols prior to European adoption by the CTN. I also lead large European investigator led clinical trials. Belfast is recognised as one of the leading CF clinical trial centres in Europe.

Our clinical research centre is also a member of the UK CF Trust Clinical Trials Accelerator Platform (CTAP) and I currently serve as a member of the Research Scientific Oversight Board for the CF Trust.

I am a current member of the European CF Society Scientific Committee and a member of the UK CF Medical Association.


I am a consultant respiratory physician specialising in CF and bronchiectasis. I am the current Director of the N. Ireland Regional Adult CF Centre.

I qualified in medicine from QUB and my early clinical training and airways inflammation research took place in Belfast.  I subsequently trained in respiratory medicine in Manchester and Brisbane. In 2006 I was appointed as a consultant in CF and Respiratory medicine in Bristol and a honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Bristol. In 2008 I became the Centre Director of the Bristol Adult CF centre and Director of the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Regional (Severn) Network. I returned to Belfast in 2011.

I also lead a multidisciplinary bronchiectasis team and work with colleagues in the clinical immunology centre to provide a regional service for patients with structural lung disease, complex infections and immunodeficiency.  

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


Dive into the research topics where Damian Downey is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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