Touching Lives - April 2018
Our award-winning researcher
Paediatric neurologist Dr Manju Kurian was awarded one of our Research Training Fellowships back in 2008. This kick-started her career in medical research and we’ve been delighted to see how successful she’s since become. She’s recently been the recipient of a string of prestigious awards in recognition of her ongoing work, including a L’Oreal UNESCO Women in Science award in 2017.
Ten years ago Action funding allowed Dr Kurian to embark on her first piece of research, investigating the genetic basis of two devastating, life-limiting conditions that affect the development of the brain and nervous system in very young children. Her research led to the discovery of one gene linked to early onset epilepsy and one gene linked to a Parkinson-like movement disorder. She also developed genetic tests for patients, meaning families could be given an accurate diagnosis and answers where previously they had had none.
Building on this success, Dr Kurian has gone on to establish her own new research group at the Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. She and her team, which now includes two current Action Research Training Fellows, continue to carry out groundbreaking work, investigating a range of childhood conditions.
Dr Kurian says: “Without Action, I wouldn’t be here – thank you!”
Our Research Training Fellowship scheme has been running for 45 years. It supports the most promising doctors and researchers early in their careers, training and developing future leaders in children’s research – people like Dr Kurian who go on to achieve big things.