A consultant neurologist has been appointed to head up a centre investigating Motor Neurone Disease.
Siddharthan Chandran, currently at Cambridge University, will head the Euan MacDonald Centre for Motor Neurone Disease Research.
The centre aims to understand why motor neurones - cells which control voluntary muscle activity such as speaking, walking and breathing - break down.
It incorporates expertise in regenerative medicine and stem cell research, neuroscience, molecular medicine and genetics.
The centre is the only one of its kind in Scotland.
It was set up following a generous donation from Euan MacDonald, who has motor neurone disease, and his father Donald.
Euan, who was diagnosed with the condition five years ago at the age of 29, and Donald MacDonald both studied Law at the University.
Dr Chandran is currently co-director of the Cambridge Motor Neurone Disease Care Centre and a fellow at Kings College, Cambridge.
He is due to take up the post next year and will hold the MacDonald Chair of Neurology.
Dr Chandran will also establish a specialist multidisciplinary motor neurone disease clinic in Edinburgh.
The Centre’s mission is to undertake laboratory and clinical research that leads to new therapies. Our research includes looking at stem cells, which represent a terrific opportunity to both study and learn about the disease as well as potentially develop new drugs and treatments.
Motor Neurone Disease affects around one in 100,000 people.
While in a small minority of cases the disease seems to be inherited, scientists are not sure what causes it.
Siddharthan’s appointment will further strengthen research into motor neurone disease in Edinburgh, which we hope will be translated into future therapies. His experience running a specialist multi-disciplinary Motor Neurone Disease clinic will provide immediate benefits for patients.
Photo credit: Paul Dodds
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