Scotland’s top doctors and scientists meet The Duke of Edinburgh at charity’s Holyrood reception | Action Medical Research

Scotland’s top doctors and scientists meet The Duke of Edinburgh at charity’s Holyrood reception

12 August 2011

A group of Scottish based doctors and scientists shared their vital work with His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, Patron of children’s charity Action Medical Research, at a special reception at The Palace of Holyroodhouse on Thursday evening (11 August).

The event was held in the Throne Room and Evening Drawing Room at the Palace to launch the charity’s new major donor appeal in Scotland.

Representatives from six research projects currently being funded by the charity in Scotland presented their work to The Duke of Edinburgh and more than 100 assembled guests.

Their work included: two different studies into the causes of premature labour; how a defective gene can cause itchy skin; a cutting-edge potential gene therapy to reverse the symptoms of Rett syndrome, a rare neurological condition that causes severe disability; a new computer system to diagnose visual field defects in children; and work to improve the success of an operation that can prevent blindness. (Please see notes to editors for full list of names, institutions and projects).

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 and also awarded 12 Research Training Fellowships in Scotland.

Richard Price, the Chair of Action Medical Research, said: “This was a very successful evening; we are very proud to be funding such important and exciting work in Scotland and this was a tremendous opportunity to be able to showcase our research to an influential audience.

“Despite the enormous progress that has been achieved in medicine, there are still thousands of children who are affected by disease and disability. We know that medical research can save and change children’s lives and have a strong track record of supporting life-saving work here in Scotland. We hope this new appeal will allow us to fund even more vital research.”

The charity, which celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2012, has a proud heritage of supporting medical breakthroughs in Scotland. This has included funding some of the work of Professor Ian Donald, the pioneer of ultrasound scanning in pregnancy, developing the Glasgow Coma scale used to assess consciousness after head injury and helping fund the Duncan Guthrie Institute of Medical Genetics in Glasgow, the first of its kind in Europe.



The researchers who attended the Action Medical Research reception at Holyroodhouse Palace were:

Dr Jane Norman, MRC / University of Edinburgh Centre for Reproductive Health, ‘Premature labour - is it a response to infection’

Professor Robert Minns, Dr Harry Brash, Dr Brian Fleck and Ian Murray, Department of Child Life & Health, University of Edinburgh, ‘Visual Field assessment in children’

Dr Andrew South, Division of Surgery and Molecular Oncology, Diagnostic/Treatment Centre for Genetic Skin Disease, University of Dundee, ‘How a defective gene causes itchy skin’

Professor John Forrester, Department of Ophthalmology, Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen, ‘Investigating the cause of corneal graft rejection’

Dr Jim Selfridge and Helene Cheval, Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh, ‘Rett syndrome: hopes of gene therapy’

Dr Raheela Khan, Academic Division of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Graduate Entry Medical School, University of Nottingham in conjunction with the Centre for Integrative Physiology, University of Edinburgh, ‘Preterm labour - the role of inflammation’.

For further information please contact:

Clare Airey, Senior Press & PR Officer
T 01403 327480

Action Medical Research is the leading UK-wide medical research charity dedicated to helping babies and children. We know that medical research can save and change children’s lives. For nearly 60 years we have been instrumental in significant medical breakthroughs, including the development of the UK polio vaccine and ultrasound scanning in pregnancy.

Today, we continue to find and fund the very best medical research to help stop the suffering of babies and children caused by disease and disability. We want to make a difference in:

· tackling premature birth and treating sick and vulnerable babies
· helping children affected by disability, disabling conditions and infections
· targeting rare diseases that together severely affect many forgotten children.

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