This is unpublished
Dr. Pradeep Singh
Dr. Ajai Dandekar
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
June 6, 2024

Grant awarded for Cystic Fibrosis Research Development Program

The UW Cystic Fibrosis Research Development Program has been awarded a grant renewal by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to support direct operating costs over the next 4 years.
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Faculty Research
Drs. Pradeep Singh and Ajai Dandekar
Drs. Pradeep Singh (left)
and Ajai Dandekar (right)

Drs. Pradeep Singh, professor of microbiology and medicine (Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine) and Ajai Dandekar, associate professor medicine (Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine) and microbiology have been awarded a $3.6 million 4-year grant from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to support laboratory-based research on cystic fibrosis (CF).

UW Research Development Program

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Research Development Program (RDP) is a network of research centers that brings together leading scientists from different disciplines to apply their expertise to the challenges of treating cystic fibrosis.

The University of Washington’s Research Development Program is one of only 9 RDPs in the country. Originally established in 1989, the UW’s RDP focuses on laboratory and translational research, uplifting young and new investigators in CF-related science areas, and supporting translational work by established investigators.

As CF involves various aspects of a person’s health, RDP members come from a number of specialties including pulmonology, genome sciences, microbiology, nephrology, digestive diseases and endocrinology to name a few. Collaboration is key to advancing the center’s mission of generating and disseminating new scientific knowledge to improve the health of CF patients.

Since its inception, the UW RDP has produced major discoveries on the basic biology of CF pathogens, lung infection mechanisms, and defined the effects of new revolutionary drugs (CFTR modulators) on CF. With renewed funding, the program is poised to continue building upon this legacy.

“It is both an exciting and challenging time in CF research,” said Singh, director of the Cystic Fibrosis Research Development Program.

“New treatments have changed CF, but the disease still fundamentally compromises health. This award will help UW maintain its world-class excellence in CF research that seeks to improve the lives of people with CF.”

Research & training activities

The recent Research Development Program award supports the UW’s CF research and training efforts for the next four years.

Grant award funding supports the operations of core research facilities such as the Genomics, Clinical, Translational and Biostatistical Cores.

The program’s research cores have advanced CF care through decades of basic and translational research. Notable contributions include defining the biological characteristics of CF, identifying modes of transmission, improving understanding of lung transplantation and rejection, and developing new treatments. The center has also developed internationally-used resources, such as the first genome sequence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, mutant libraries of CF pathogens, bacterial isolate collections, new genomic approaches and other tools.

The RDP is also committed to fostering future generations of CF researchers and clinicians. Through funding provided by the RDP, the UW has trained numerous pre- and post-doctoral fellows including innovative physician-scientists committed to career-long CF research and leaders in CF research and care at other institutions. 

“In the last 25 years, the UW CF RDP program has contributed to the training of dozens of physicians and scientists involved in the care of people with CF, and these trainees have participated in an extraordinary transformation in the management of CF over the last two decades. We look forward to advancing the state of CF research in the next four years,” Dandekar said.

Central to the RDP’s mission is supporting innovation through pilot grants, a means for accomplished CF investigators to pursue novel research questions and drive innovation in CF care. Pilot grant projects can range from applying basic scientific knowledge to a clinical problem to examining the feasibility of a new therapeutic approach.

Through renewed support for these research and training activities, the UW RDP is positioned to continue its long-term mission of generating knowledge and advancing innovation in CF disease, treatment and care.


Major contributors to this award include Drs. Chris Goss and Siddhartha Kapnadak (Medicine); Steve Salipante and Dustin Long (Laboratory Medicine); Ronald Gibson, Sonya Heltshe, and Anna Faino (Pediatrics); Ting Ye (Biostatistics); and Jim Bruce and Colin Manoil (Genome Sciences).