If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

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
  • Treatment plans for respiratory tract fungal disease 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 Co-Director of the European CF Society – Clinical Trial Network (CTN) (www.ecfs.eu/ctn). This Network consists of 43 CF research centres located in 15 EU countries. I help to provide strategic direction of CF clinical trials and regularly lead reviews of pharmaceutical industry trial protocols prior to European adoption by the CTN. 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 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 to co-lead the Northern Ireland Regional CF Centre before moving to my current role in 2017.

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.  

Fingerprint 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.

  • 21 Similar Profiles
Cystic Fibrosis Medicine & Life Sciences
Pseudomonas aeruginosa Medicine & Life Sciences
Sputum Medicine & Life Sciences
Anti-Bacterial Agents Medicine & Life Sciences
Lung Medicine & Life Sciences
Therapeutics Medicine & Life Sciences
Leukocyte Elastase Medicine & Life Sciences
Bronchiectasis Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1999 2019

1 Citation (Scopus)
Cystic Fibrosis
Logistic Models
1 Citation (Scopus)

Community analysis and co-occurrence patterns in airway microbial communities during health and disease

Einarsson, G. G., Zhao, J., LiPuma, J. J., Downey, D. G., Tunney, M. M. & Elborn, J. S., 08 Jul 2019, In : ERJ Open. 5, 3, 11 p., 00128-2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Chronic Disease
Burkholderia cepacia complex
Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator
Forced Expiratory Volume
Open Access
Rare Diseases

Improved culture detection of Staphylococcus aureus from sputum of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF)

Wen, H., Stirling, J., McCaughan, J., Schock, B., Downey, D. G., Ennis, M. & Moore, J. E., 13 Oct 2019, In : Journal of Clinical Pathology. jclinpath-2019-206059

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cystic Fibrosis
Staphylococcus aureus
Lung Diseases

Activities 2012 2018

Developing New Clinical Trial Centres in Europe

Damian Downey (Invited speaker)
06 Jun 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited or keynote talk at national or international conference

A Principal Investigator's View on Clinical Research

Damian Downey (Lecturer)
13 Feb 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

The management of fungal respiratory tract infections in CF

Damian Downey (Advisor)
10 Oct 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Global Respiratory Health

Damian Downey (Lecturer)
20 Mar 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Chair of Presentation Skills Session for PhD candidates in Centre for Experimental Medicine

Damian Downey (Chair)
07 Mar 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Press / Media

The challenges of end of life care in cystic fibrosis

Damian Downey


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities


Improving outcomes for people with cystic fibrosis through evidence based clinical trials

Stuart Elborn (Participant), Lorraine Martin (Participant), Damian Downey (Participant), Simon Brockbank (Participant), Madeleine Ennis (Participant)

Impact: Health Impact, Quality of Life Impact