Interstitial Lung Disease Biobank

The Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) Biobank at RCSI and Beaumont Hospital is a collection of biological samples (DNA, serum, blood cells and whole blood) donated by patients with ILD.

Interstitial lung diseases are a group of scarring lung disease otherwise and is known as pulmonary fibrosis. The most common form is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis or IPF, but it can be associated with environmental exposures and connective tissue diseases such as scleroderma and rheumatoid arthritis. This group of diseases affects people of all ages who often have a family member with a similar lung disease and in this setting it is called familial pulmonary fibrosis.

The ultimate goal of the ILD Biobank is to discover the underlying genetic and environmental risk factors, as well as identify potential treatment targets for ILDs worldwide.

Our ongoing Health Research Board funded study is particularly interested in improving our understanding of how our genes and the environment in which we live interact and influence the cause and development of ILD, and how patient’s genes influence the progression of ILDs.

Many people who develop ILD have a close family member that is also affected by ILD, a disease called familial pulmonary fibrosis. In other cases it can occur in the setting of an associated rheumatological condition such as rheumatoid arthritis or scleroderma. However, in most cases the cause of pulmonary fibrosis is unknown, called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). We suspect that the cause of IPF is a combination of genes that we inherit and the environment in which we live in.

People who agree to participate in our study and Biobank donate a blood sample to facilitate sequencing of DNA, RNA and to measure other substances in the body that can be associated with ILD. Analysing and sharing these samples with approved collaborators allows us to better understand how the disease happens and how it affects individual patients.

The Biobank relies on the financial support from grants awarded from different funders including the Health Research Board and The Charitable Infirmary Charitable Trust. More information about ILD can be found from our partners at the Irish Lung Fibrosis Association and the Irish Thoracic Society.

By taking part in this biobank, you can help us to improve our understanding of ILD, and ultimately improve diagnosis and treatment. If you would like to learn more about this Biobank or perhaps consider taking part, please don't hesitate to get in touch.


Professor Killian Hurley, RCSI Education and Research Centre, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9