Edinburgh Paget’s Association Centre of Excellence award ceremony
The Edinburgh Paget’s Association Centre of Excellence Award: March 2016
The Edinburgh Paget’s Association Centre of Excellence Award was presented to Professor Stuart Ralston and his team in a ceremony on 18th March 2016 at the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine. The award was presented by Professor Francis, Chairman of the Paget’s Association who said, “The Paget’s Association is keen to foster close collaboration between clinicians treating the condition and also scientists investigating the causes and potential new treatments. Edinburgh, I feel, is an inspiring example of such collaboration with world leading clinical and basic scientific research conducted by Professor Ralston and his colleagues”.
The afternoon event showcased the world-leading research headed by Professor Ralston into the causes and treatment of Paget’s disease over the past three decades. Several researchers from the team gave presentations to inform and educate the audience about Paget’s disease and the research that is being conducted in the Centre of Excellence. The many patients, relatives and carers that attended the event also enjoyed the opportunity of meeting with each other and talking to Diana Wilkinson and Prof Roger Francis who were representing the Paget’s Association, as well as the researchers and clinicians active in the Edinburgh centre.
Professor Donald Salter and Dr Omar Albagha both gave well received presentations describing both the distinctive features and possible causes of the symptoms of Paget’s disease as well as some of the front-line genetic research that has identified nine different genes that may cause the condition. Dr Albagha went on to explain that it may soon be possible to offer genetic testing to identify people at increased risk of developing the disease, which may lead to better disease management and more effective treatments.
Dr Philip Riches, a Consultant Rheumatologist within the centre introduced Diana Wilkinson, Specialist Paget’s Nurse, who spoke about the support offered by the Paget's Association and the valuable work that the Association does for patients with the disease. Professor Ralston then delivered the final lecture of the day “Treatment of Paget’s disease: past, present and future treatment”. He closed his presentation with an update on several on-going studies including th ZiPP trial which could open up new avenues for prevention of the disease by treating people at a very early stage. He also described an exciting new study “The Paget’s Disease Orthopaedic Surgery Challenge” which aims to understand the underlying causes of Paget’s and osteosarcoma, a bone tumour that specifically affects people with Paget’s disease, by analysing bone samples from patients using modern molecular techniques.
The afternoon concluded with thanks from Professor Sir John Savill, Head of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. Sir John praised the research that had been conducted by the team at Edinburgh mentioning that the bench-to-bedside approach which they had adopted exemplified the philosophy that the University was keen to nurture in translating scientific advances for the benefit of patients. He closed by mentioning how impressed he was by the work the Paget’s Association was carrying out for patients and wished the Edinburgh Centre and other Centres of Excellence every success for the future.