A major donation from Harry Potter author JK Rowling will help combat Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a disease which affects one in 500 Scots. Funding for the Ł2.5m project will largely come from Multiple Sclerosis Society Scotland, which has been gifted a substantial sum from the author for this work.
The new MS Centre will be housed at The Centre for Regenerative Medicine in The Chancellor's Building, the University's Medical School at Little France. Here, scientists and clinicians will collaborate in 'bench to bedside' research which will use the latest techniques to develop therapies for MS. They will also investigate how to repair the damaged parts of the nervous system and prevent further deterioration.
JK Rowling, Patron of the MS Society Scotland said: "It means a great deal to me to be able to provide support for this much needed research centre. It is an extremely exciting step forward in the on-going battle to try to unlock the mysteries of MS and which will hopefully, one day, lead to a cure."
Sue Polson, who has MS, said: "I am delighted that Edinburgh has been chosen as the site for the new Centre. This tremendous news means that research should now move forward with greater momentum and significance for people with MS – just what we've all been waiting for!"
Professor Peter Brophy of the Centre for Neuroscience Research at the University of Edinburgh welcomed the funding announcement, saying: "At the new centre, positioned in the University's Medical School and adjacent to the new research institute and the Royal Infirmary, we will be able to draw together strands of expertise to better understand MS, and to develop new treatments so that we can take advantage of the strong neuroscience base in Edinburgh."
Professor Peter Sandercock, Professor of Medical Neurology said: "This is an exciting development. The team from the brain imaging research centre at the Western General Hospital will be working with the MS group to apply the innovative new methods they have developed which can measure the changes in brain inflammation, temperature and nerve-cell interconnections that can occur in MS."
Mark Hazelwood, Director of Multiple Sclerosis Society Scotland said: "Scotland has the highest rate of MS in the world. This new Centre will help to put Scotland where it should be – at the forefront of the battle against MS. The Centre is the biggest single investment in research ever made by the Society anywhere in the UK."
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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