Research & Advocacy

CF Research

Cystic Fibrosis WA (CFWA) funds research to advance our understanding and treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF) and to provide better support for those with CF and their families. This research is funded through generous donations and part proceeds of CFWA fundraising activities.

How We Choose What Research to Fund

CFWA’s research priorities are guided by a Research Strategy which highlights our aspirations and the principles by which CFWA research funding is prioritised and governed. CFWA will offer research grants or opportunities periodically, in line with the strategy.   

CFWA utilises the independent Australian CF Research Trust (ACFRT) to administer grant rounds, application review; and grant award and acquittal processes. The purpose of the trust is to secure funding from public, private and corporate entities and allocate funds for high quality peer reviewed research. The ACFRT is administrated by Cystic Fibrosis Australia (CFA) and supported by CF organisations from across Australia.  

CFWA’s Current Research Programs

Post-Graduate Top Up Scholarships

CFWA funds post-graduate top up scholarships, to encourage researchers to pursue and maintain CF related careers. We want to help as many early career researchers as possible conduct research projects on CF for higher degree study.

Scholarships are advertised at least annually, with a value of $12,500 per annum for three years, for students who are conducting research for a higher degree (PhD, MD or equivalent) on a CF related research project.

The scholarships are awarded to individuals who already have an award of a studentship and fees, such as an APA, a University post-graduate award, an NHMRC Studentship or equivalent. Applications are welcome from those carrying out laboratory, clinical, allied health or public health projects.

Innovation Grants

CFWA aims to fund a significant innovation grant annually, as a catalyst for new or novel CF research. These grants enable post-doctoral researchers to explore novel concepts at feasibility stage and generate sufficient data to position to secure ongoing funding support.   

Grants are advertised with an indicative award value of $80,000 awarded to one applicant for one year.  The actual amount provided will be subject to approval of the applicant’s budget.   

The scholarships are awarded to post-doctoral researchers currently working in or proposing to work in CF research.  The researcher will have completed a research higher degree in CF or a related area within the last ten years.

Other CFWA Funded Research

In addition to post graduate scholarships and innovation grants, CFWA provides funding for other research endeavours periodically. This may include research fellowships, discrete projects or initiatives to advance research capability.

For more information on our current programs, please contact our Finance and Administration Manager via email (accounts@cfwa.org.au) or on 08 6224 4100.

Consumer Engagement

Consumer Reference Groups

CFWA participates in consumer reference groups focused on the interests of children and families; and adults with CF. This includes both the Child and Adolescent CF Consumer Reference Group; and the Adult CF Centre Consumer Advisory Committee. Both groups link consumers, clinical staff and researchers and ensure a consumer perspective to research aspects of CF. 

For more information about these groups, get in touch via email (admin@cfwa.org.au) or phone 08 6224 4100.

Evening with CF Scientists

CFWA aims to host an “Evening with CF Scientists” annually, including regional hosting periodically. A range of speakers showcase cutting edge research, some of which has not yet been published. This event is filmed and accessible online for those that are not able to attend in person.

Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials are an important part of developing new treatments for CF. Cystic Fibrosis Australia (CFA) publishes information about CF clinical trials in Australia, including how you or your child can get involved. CFWA also shares details through our community networks.

Successful Grant Recipients

CFWA Funded Post-Graduate Top Up Scholarships

Danni LiCFWA Golf Classic2024

Danni is researching the use of Trikafta in pregnancy and breastfeeding. Danni’s work is in an area of increasing importance to people with CF and their families.

Jack CanningCFWA Golf Classic2023

Jack’s research is focused on the bio-banking of bacteriophages to treat Burkholderia cepacia infection.

Rohan Flint

CFWA Golf Classic


Rohan’s research is based on assessing aerosolised bacteriophage to treat antibiotic resistant bacterial infections.

Andrew Vaitekenas

CFWA Golf Classic


Andrew’s project is investigating how bacteria, specifically Pseudomonas aeruginosa, changes in response to phage therapy.

Maggie Harrigan

CFWA Golf Classic


Maggie’s research project aims to develop and deliver an intervention that promotes social connection for people with CF.

Joshua Iszatt

CFWA Golf Classic


Joshua’s project is focused around the development and investigation of a therapeutic agent that could be used to treat multi-drug resistant bacteria that frequently cause persistent lung infections in children with cystic fibrosis.

Naomi Chapman

CFWA Golf Classic


Does the MetaNeb®, a new airway clearance device, change lung function in adults with cystic fibrosis when they are well and when they are hospitalised for a lung infection?

Renee Ng

CFWA Golf Classic


Renee is revisiting the use of bacteriophages, or “phages” to treat Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterial lung infections in children with CF.

Samuel Montgomery

Hardie Foundation Scholarship


The role of Interleukin and necrosis leading to neutrophilic inflammation in children with cystic fibrosis.

Kelly Martinovich

CFWA Golf Classic


Personalised antisense oligonucleotide therapy to correct CFTR function in Cystic Fibrosis patients.

Clara Mok

CFWA Golf Classic


To characterise in detail the trapped air appearance on CT in early CF. Specifically, aim to further validate functional MRI in the lungs and use this information to determine the cause of CT trapped air. Validation of functional MRI in the lungs will provide greater insight into the mechanisms underlying early CF-lung disease progression.

Puvvadi Venkataravanamma

Conquer Cystic Fibrosis


Research into the impact of acidity of the liquid lining of the airway by comparing children with and without cystic fibrosis; correcting the acidity is shown to normalise the body’s reaction to bacteria.

Tim Rosenow

Lung Distance Runners


Research into quantitative air trapping through CT assessments of structural lung disease in cystic fibrosis.

Cindy Branch-Smith

SBA Foundation


Investigating levels of stress, depression and family and relationship functioning among families of young children with cystic fibrosis, and relating these to health in the child.

Luke Garratt

McCusker Family Trust


Focused in the laboratory setting using airway cells collected from children and working with levels of neutrophil elastase (NE), a product of the body’s inflammatory response and strongly linked to physical changes in lung structure – seen in the AREST-CF cohort. The hope is that we can then explore treatment options for children with CF to counter the effects of NE.

Other CFWA Funded Research Projects

Funding RecipientFunderYear Awarded


Dr Nikhil AwatadeCFWA Golf Classic Innovation Grant2023Dr Nikhil’s research is focused on better understanding CF liver disease to help prevent liver damage and ensure people can access better treatments.
Dr Yuliya KarpievitchDonor Funded Project Grant2023Dr Yuliya’s research is based on developing and testing an artificial intelligence-based method to quickly and accurately identify a personalised phage cocktail to treat antibiotic resistant bacteria in individual CF patients.
Julie Depiazzi and Crystal BourkeAbbie Fennessy Fellowship2021Julie and Crystal’s research project is investigating the health consequences of Tracheobronchomalacia (TBM) in children with CF. In WA, children are diagnosed with CF through newborn screening.
Dr Luke Garratt CFWA Golf Classic 2021Dr Luke Garratt’s project is researching neutrophils which perform an important immune function in the body, however, for people with CF, they can actually behave harmfully, causing lung damage. Luke is a former recipient of a CFWA PhD scholarship.

Little Lungs Big Futures Research Project

Little Lungs Big Futures was a collaborative CF research project undertaken over 2016 – 2019, one of the largest ever undertaken in the southern hemisphere, with its origins in WA. This ground-breaking research project was targeting the reduction of structural lung damage in infants with CF. 

Little Lungs Big Futures research was led out of the Telethon Kids Institute in Perth with collaborators in Victoria, Queensland and the USA.

Drug Development Pipeline

To view the current status of CF drugs in development or already in use in Australia, you can read CFA’s Drug Development Pipeline.


Our advocacy operates on three levels: Individually, assistance for issues around access to services including support letters for residency, funding applications for equipment and access to other programs as required such as leadership camps for young adults.

At a State level CFWA have advocated on behalf of our members for subsidised parking, hospital Wi-Fi and increased staffing levels at the hospitals.

Nationally, CFA has lead various advocacy campaigns which have been contributed to by the State and Territory CF organisations including CFWA. The most recent of these were the subsidised access to Kalydeco and Orkambi. These two medications are the first of a new class of drugs to address the underlying course of the disease and are a quantum leap towards achieving our vision of Lives Unaffected by CF.


Advocacy means standing up for your rights, standing up for someone else, or an issue you see within the broader community. Advocacy could be speaking up about issues that are impacting you in your life or speaking out on a larger scale to help create positive changes in society for many people. It is sharing your views and opinions with others to create change.

Writing a Letter

If you would like to affect positive change, you can write a letter to your local member, or other interested party (e.g., consumer liaison service). We have provided a template below to help guide your letter.

Where to Send Letters

Parliament websites hold lists of Members’ contact details for their electorate office and Parliament House. Members’ contact details are available in various formats, including mailing labels, and can be downloaded from the URLs below.

Advocacy takes time. It can be a long process to create change.  If you do not receive a response first time, follow up with the person you sent the letter to and ask if there is any update or if there is anyone else you should be addressing your letter to.


Care Opinion is an independent site where anyone can share their stories about their experience of care. The site covers health and aged care, and community services in Australia, giving service users, their families and carers the opportunity to publish their personal experiences, good or bad, of the care system.

To contact or provide feedback to CFWA click here.

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