Supporting medical successes in Scotland
Scotland has long been associated with medical innovations – the introduction of anaesthesia to childbirth and discovery of penicillin – and Action Medical Research is proud to have contributed to some more modern day achievements that have had a major impact on children’s lives.
During the late 1960s and 70s, we awarded grants to Professor Bryan Jennett at the University of Glasgow, who along with his colleague Professor Graham Teasdale, went on to develop the Glasgow Coma Scale. This has revolutionised the way consciousness after head injury is measured and is recommended in the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines.
We funded some of Professor Ian Donald’s important work with ultrasound at the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh in 1978. Professor Donald is credited with pioneering the development of obstetric ultrasound and our grant provided a real-time scanner to assess structural defects and potentially disabling conditions in pregnancy. In 1981, we gave further funding for a videotape recorder system, which enabled better examination of fetal movement.
The first European institute specifically for medical genetics was built using our funding. Professor Malcolm Ferguson-Smith of the University of Glasgow received a grant that contributed towards the Duncan Guthrie Institute of Medical Genetics, which opened in 1980. We later gave awards for equipment and facilities. The centre is used to test samples from newborn babies for conditions such as cystic fibrosis among many other things.
In 1989, we awarded the University of Aberdeen a five-year grant for the Sir Harry Platt Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery. This paved the way for the university’s Academic Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. During these five years, spinal research was expanded and studies on surgical techniques conducted.
Over the last 30 years, Action Medical Research has invested over £6 million in more than 70 projects in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and St Andrews; we have also awarded several Research Training Fellowships in Scotland, supporting 12 since 1977. And as Scotland continues to conduct medical research of the highest standard, we remain committed to helping bring the benefits to babies, children and their families.