A young Edinburgh doctor has been awarded a prestigious grant from Action Medical Research so he can begin his career in research.
Talented Dr Johan Van Limbergen, who was born in Aalst in Belgium, has been given a Research Trainee Fellowship of £164,666 by the charity to study inflammatory bowel diseases in Scotland’s children.
Action Medical Research has had a strong network of fundraising groups in Scotland since the Charity first started raising money for important research the 1950s. Today the Charity spends more than £600,000 on innovative research in Scotland’s leading hospitals and universities to investigate a range of illnesses and conditions.
The highly respected medical charity’s decision to fund this research shows that this is an area that needs to be studied as a priority by the best in the field. Scotland has some of the highest numbers of children suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in the world and figures are continuing to rise.
These conditions can cause very severe symptoms in children; including weight loss, diarrhoea and excruciating abdominal pain.
For youngsters with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) this can mean a lifetime of suffering that impacts on their growth, psychological well-being, sexual development, education and future employment.
Dr Van Limbergen is based at the Gastrointestinal Unit at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh; his work will be looking at the genetic make-up of patients suffering from IBD in Scotland to see why they may be more prone to the disease.
Children from across Scotland, who are affected by IBD, will be studied in a collaboration between the Sick Children’s Hospitals of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee.
Dr Van Limbergen hopes to find out more about the genes involved in the development of IBD, which could lead to new treatments for patients.
Dr Van Limbergen said, “I am proud that Action Medical Research has chosen to highlight the importance of my work with this award.
“The charity is renowned within the medical profession for supporting only the very best in research – so I feel hugely honoured to be alongside some of the best known, cutting edge research teams
“I am glad that Action Medical Research has recognised that this is a tremendously important area of research. Too many children are suffering with pain, struggling at school and having social and psychological development problems because of this distressing condition.
“This award means that I can begin my research work and hopefully make some real steps forward to making a difference to the lives of IBD sufferers.”
Chief Executive of Action Medical Research, Simon Moore added, “At Action Medical Research we seek to fund the very best in research. Our Research Training Fellowships go to the brightest and most talented medical professionals early in their research careers.
“These are the people who have a tremendous future in medicine and will be making ground-breaking advances that will have a positive impact on all our lives.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
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