Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn


The Department of Medicine Respiratory Research Division was established in 1998 by Professor McElvaney. The research laboratories are housed in the RCSI Education & Research Centre on the Beaumont Hospital campus.

The main research areas focus on inflammatory lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and specifically investigate proteases, antiproteases, host-pathogen interactions, and innate immune signalling.

A significant strength of this unit is the interactions with pharmaceutical companies interested in translational research. This synergy has led to clinical trials for emerging therapeutics for cystic fibrosis and alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.

The group has a strong track record of translational research, integrating basic and clinical research, with publications in many prestigious international journals including Journal of Clinical Investigation, New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Immunology, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of Infectious Diseases, Journal of Experimental Medicine, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Thorax, American Journal of Cell and Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, Hepatology, European Respiratory Journal, Chest, Blood, and Journal of Leukocyte Biology.

The laboratory is the site of the national alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency targeted detection programme (Alpha One Foundation) which is the first national screening programme for alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency in the world, and is funded by the Department of Health & Children.

The various research programmes have been and continue to be supported by

  • Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
  • Health Research Board (HRB)
  • Higher Education Authority of Ireland
  • Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland
  • Alpha One Foundation (Ireland)
  • Alpha-1 Foundation (USA)
  • Medical Research Charities Group (MRCG)
  • Children's Research Centre Crumlin Hospital
  • Programme for Research in Third Level Institutes (PRTLI)