The goal of the CF Discovery Core is to gain a deeper understanding of the complexity of CF disease pathogenesis and to enhance the diagnosis and treatment in people with CF (PwCF). Recent progress in managing CF lung disease through the use of highly effective modulator therapies (HEMTs) has highlighted the importance of investigating non-pulmonary co-morbidities that can significantly reduce quality of life and long-term survival. These co-morbidities include CF-related bone disease (CFBD), CF-related mental health and gastrointestinal (GI) issues, CF-related liver disease (CFLD), and CF-related diabetes (CFRD). Given the complexity of CF, it is essential to conduct sophisticated, interdisciplinary research that will enable phenotype-based precision medicine to advance long-term management of the disease. To achieve this objective, the CF Discovery Core provides:

  1. Access to the CF Biospecimen Repository (CF-BR) that  processes, stores, and allocates biological samples collected longitudinally from PwCF in various states of health and disease.
  2. Access to longitudinal clinical data corresponding to each biospecimen via the GA CF Data Warehouse.
  3. Consultative and collaborative scientific expertise from Research Oversight Committee members, comprised of biostatisticians, clinicians, and researchers, to ensure scientific feasibility and rigor.

The CF Discovery Core relies on the generous contribution of time and samples from our outstanding patient volunteers at the Children’s+Emory CF Care Center. There are ~700 PwCF followed by our CF adult and pediatric clinical programs and almost 80% of these patients contribute to the CF Discovery Core. Each de-identified sample is connected to robust  individual clinical data providing scientists with a resource to connect basic research findings with clinical outcomes.

The CF Discovery Core is funded by the Marcus Foundation Professorship in Pulmonology for Dr. Stecenko, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CF-AIR), and the NIH P30 DK125013.

The CF Discovery Core provides several services including:

  • Collection and processing of samples from Emory CF adult and pediatric clinics 
  • Storage and banking of these samples
  • Maintenance of a database of clinical information associated with each sample collected
  • Contact director Dr. Arlene Stecenko for more information to plan for a specific project

The Cystic Fibrosis Biospecimen Repository (CF-BR) at Emory Children's Center provides fresh and frozen samples available for pick-up or delivery. To initiate new projects, please contact Dr. Arlene Stecenko. Following this, project requests require approval by the Research Oversight Committee (ROC), consisting of clinicians, researchers, and biostatisticians. The ROC's role includes assessing feasibility, offering biostatistical support, preventing redundancy, and enhancing scientific rigor in coordinating human subject studies. For submission of a ROC request form, please contact Kymry Jones.

The prioritization for distribution of samples from the CF-BR  is as follows:

  • First priority: Emory+Children’s core CF research team.
  • Second priority: Investigators using these samples for NIH and CFF funded projects.
  • Third priority: Investigators using these samples to generate preliminary data for NIH and CFF grant proposals.
  • Fourth priority: Investigators outside of Atlanta, except in cases of established collaborations.

Each price is based upon calculations of the minimum amount of personnel effort and of supplies used. The listed rates are for external users, with certain costs subsidized for Emory researchers. Contact Kymry Jones for more details.

Sample types:

  • Sputum: $96/500µl
  • Blood processed: $78/aliquot
  • Fresh Biological Sample (unprocessed sample): $40/draw
  • Bacterial Isolates: $31/aliquot
  • Service Consultation and Data Retrieval: $40/hour
  • Non-invasive Sample Collection: $4
  • Skin Biopsy: $24
  • Nasal Brushing: $27
  • Exhaled Breath Condensate: $94

For a quote, please contact Kymry Jones. For questions about using the core for your project, please contact Dr. Arlene Stecenko.

The CF Discovery Core is generously supported by Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University. When presenting or publishing work completed using the core, please include "Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University Pediatric CF Discovery Core" in the acknowledgments.

To determine if you should use "Children's Healthcare of Atlanta" in your author affiliations, please see guidelines here.

Dr. Balazs Rada: (The University of Georgia)
"The Rada laboratory at the University of Georgia studies neutrophil-mediated inflammation in cystic fibrosis airways using animal models and human biospecimen. The team also investigates autoimmunity in cystic fibrosis. The laboratory is involved in tight collaborations with several investigators at the Emory University CF Center related to these projects. The CF Discovery Core has played essential roles in all of our CF-related projects by providing blood and sputum samples, bacterial isolates and live immune cells obtained from cystic fibrosis patients."

Dr. Joshua Chandler: (Emory University)
“Access to the CF Discovery core is essential to my laboratory’s experiments. As a PhD scientist, reliable access to deidentified fresh and frozen clinical samples is a wonderful benefit that is difficult to overstate. Additionally, we have used the core’s well-organized clinical data – such as which patients are taking highly effective CFTR modulators – to make novel discoveries within our results and carve out new research directions.”