Projects per year
I hold a Chair in Clinical Pharmacy and am the Director of Research at the School of Pharmacy, Queen’s University Belfast. I have an international track record in lung microbiome research with my translational research programme focusing primarily on the improved detection and treatment of lung infection in patients with respiratory diseases such as cystic fibrosis (CF), non-CF bronchiectasis and COPD. I have published over 100 research papers in peer-reviewed journals and serves on a number of scientific advisory boards as well as editorial boards.
I lead a multidisciplinary team of research staff including pharmacists, microbiologists and clinicians. My laboratory is a world class centre of excellence which aims to develop the next generation of treatments, diagnostic tools and standards of care in order to alleviate or cure respiratory infection.
All staff and students in my team are dedicated to working together to push the boundaries of scientific and clinical discovery. Our goal is to translate these advances into new clinical and therapeutic approaches that will ultimately improve the lives of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) and other respiratory diseases.
Research in my group is focused primarily on the improved detection and treatment of lung infection in patients with respiratory diseases such as cystic fibrosis (CF), non-CF bronchiectasis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Microbiome analysis is performed, using both enhanced aerobic and anaerobic culture techniques and non-culture based next- generation sequencing, on samples from patients with CF, bronchiectasis, COPD and primary immune deficiency. Using these techniques, we have identified that a much wider range of bacteria may cause respiratory infection in patients with these diseases than was previously thought. We have also discovered that bacteria which do not require oxygen to live may be present in the airways.
My team’s current research programme is designed to:
• Establish the role of these organisms in causing infection and damage in the lungs of patients with respiratory disease
• Determine why these bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics used to treat infection
• Evaluate the efficacy of antibiotics and other agents under low oxygen conditions which mimic conditions in the lung and;
• Examine whether changes in antibiotic treatment to target a wider range of bacteria present in the lungs result in improved clinical outcomes for patients
Our group are also leading a €50 million, 5-year Europe-wide, Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) funded project to develop new drugs that could improve the lives of patients with CF and bronchiectasis. The iABC (inhaled Antibiotics in Bronchiectasis and Cystic Fibrosis) consortium, which is made up of industry partners Novartis and Polyphor and world-leading lung specialists from across Europe, will develop new ‘inhaled antibiotics’ to manage chronic lung infection, the main cause of disease and death in patients with these conditions.
Watch more about my research on this video.
R6638PMY: EXIMIOUS - Mapping Exposure-Induced Immune Effects: Connecting the Exposome and the Immunome
02/01/2020 → …
09/02/2018 → …
Development of a core outcome set for clinical trials aimed at improving antimicrobial stewardship in care homesNguyen, H. Q., Bradley, D. T., Tunney, M. M. & Hughes, C. M., 09 Mar 2021, In: Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control. 10, 52.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile6 Downloads (Pure)
Extended-culture and culture-independent molecular analysis of the airway microbiota in cystic fibrosis following CFTR modulation with ivacaftorEinarsson, G. G., Ronan, N. J., Mooney, D., McGettigan, C., Mullane, D., NiChroinin, M., Shanahan, F., Murphy, D. M., McCarthy, M., McCarthy, Y., Eustace, J. A., Gilpin, D. F., Elborn, J. S., Plant, B. J. & Tunney, M. M., 04 Feb 2021, (Early online date) In: Journal of cystic fibrosis : official journal of the European Cystic Fibrosis Society.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review
Antibacterial Activity of Four Plant Extracts Extracted from Traditional Chinese Medicinal Plants against Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli, and Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar EnteritidisMcMurray, R., Ball, E., Tunney, M., Corcionivoschi, N. & Situ, C., 26 Jun 2020, In: Microorganisms. 8, 962, 12 p., 962.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile32 Downloads (Pure)
Bradley, D. T., Tunney, M. M. & Hughes, C. M., 10 Jan 2020, (Early online date) In: The Journal of hospital infection.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile4 Citations (Scopus)15 Downloads (Pure)
Elborn, J. S., Tunney, M. M. & Bradley, J. M., 16 Dec 2020, In: European Respiratory & Pulmonary Diseases. 6, 1, supp. 2, p. 24-25
Research output: Contribution to journal › Meeting abstract › peer-review