Liverpool’s ongoing research and support into improving the quality of life for people with cystic fibrosis has helped the city secure a major international medical conference for the first time.

More than 3,000 scientific and clinical professionals from all over the world will converge on ACC Liverpool for the 42nd European Cystic Fibrosis Conference in June, 2019. Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is an inherited genetic condition that affects over 10,500 people in the UK. Symptoms begin in childhood and slowly progress to destroy the lungs and digestive system. Half of people that die from cystic fibrosis are aged under 29.

Professor Kevin Southern, Professor of Child Health at University of Liverpool and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, helped bring the event to Liverpool.

“Liverpool is world-renowned for its well established clinics and its health professionals who provide care for children and adults with cystic fibrosis,” he said. “We have spent many years, working closely with the destination and with ACC Liverpool, to bring this major event to the city.  We are proud to host the conference which will help towards the society’s long-term aim to improve the outlook for people with this condition, not just in the UK but globally.”

One of the key related services in Liverpool is the Adult Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Service at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital. It aims to offer the best facilities and services to patients, including helping them cope with the emotional and psychological aspects of living with CF. Members of the hospital’s multidisciplinary team have undertaken research projects that have addressed all aspects of Cystic Fibrosis care, many of which have altered local, UK and worldwide practice.

Meanwhile, a number of studies into CF have taken place at the University of Liverpool. In 2017, it began leading a major international project looking at new ways of dealing with digestive issues in people living with cystic fibrosis. Distal intestinal obstructive syndrome (DIOS) is a common issue among people with CF, requiring hospital treatment and even surgery. Leading charity the Cystic Fibrosis Trust launched a new Strategic Research Centre, led by Professor Shirazi-Beechey, from the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Integrative Biology, to find new treatments to prevent DIOS and related intestinal issues for people living with the condition.

The CF conference win is the latest in a number of medical conference wins for Liverpool, including the International Orthoptic Association and the Annual Meeting of the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology (ESPE).

Medical events are a major target for the city, aligning with the Liverpool’s experience and expertise in healthcare and medical research. A large proportion of the members of Club Liverpool – a network of influential ambassadors from academia and business who work to attract major conferences and events – work in medical science and education. One-third of all ambassadors come from the University of Liverpool, with significant numbers from Liverpool John Moores University and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

(via AMI, LHCH, University of Liverpool)