Kath Melia, Emeritus Professor from the University of Edinburgh, has chosen to leave a legacy gift to the Institute for Regeneration and Repair.
When deciding to leave a legacy to the University of Edinburgh in 2019, Professor Kath Melia’s attention was caught by an article on the development of the Institute for Regeneration and Repair and its potential to revolutionise the nature of treatments for major diseases and conditions, including heart disease.
Having started her career working on a coronary care unit, followed by forty years working at the University of Edinburgh in various posts including five years as the first Head of the School of Health in Social Science, Kath saw the Institute as a natural place for her legacy gift.
As a sociologist, she was also drawn to the idea of bringing different groups of scientists together. The Institute brings together stem cell biologists, scientists working on damaged tissue and people working on inflammation. This triad defines effective regeneration, enabling researchers to start thinking about developing treatments.
I was attracted to the idea of bringing the existing Centre for Regenerative Medicine together with the Centre for Inflammation Research to form the Institute for Regeneration and Repair.
It involves hundreds of scientists, many ideas and techniques, yet they are all rendered understandable through this one, neatly named, institute. The work of IRR involves many disciplines working together, teamwork and communication are important. This appealed to me because the human interaction is as important as the scientific endeavour for such an institute to work.
There is a continuity in the links between the work of the IRR and my starting point in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh’s Coronary Care Unit. The work of IRR will revolutionise the nature of the treatment of patients with injured hearts.