Ulster University will play a key role in the research, which is being led by Newcastle University (UK) in partnership with Lund University (Sweden), The University of Iowa (USA) and Szeged University (Hungary).
“Discovering how the defective cystic fibrosis gene affects the body’s ability to regulate insulin levels is crucial to working out how to prevent diabetes from developing in CF sufferers,” said Dr Catriona Kelly from Ulster University.
“This new research brings CF and diabetes specialists together for the first time to identify crucial new treatment options that could enable the majority of CF patients to live longer and healthier lives.
“Ulster University’s specialist expertise in personalised medicine research carried out at our C-TRIC facility in Altnagelvin will be integral to the study.”
Approximately 20 per cent of adolescents and 50 per cent of adults living with CF have diabetes, and the condition can have a detrimental impact on lung function and wider health.
Known as Cystic fibrosis-related diabetes (CFRD), it is a unique condition. While the cause is unknown, the development of the diabetes accelerates lung disease, which is the main reason for death among people with CF.