Anne Rowling Clinic opens with Royal seal of approval

8 October 2013

Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal with JK Rowling
Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal with JK Rowling

Patients with multiple sclerosis and other neurological diseases are to benefit from a research clinic that was officially opened by Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal today.

The Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic at the University of Edinburgh focuses on clinical research, targeting discovery of treatments that will slow progression of neurodegenerative diseases, with the ultimate ambition of repairing damage.

The Anne Rowling Clinic was established with a donation from Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. It is named after the author’s mother, who died of multiple sclerosis aged 45.

Ms Rowling, who donated £10 million to establish the Clinic in her mother’s name, said: “I am moved and elated to see the Anne Rowling Clinic formally opened today by HRH The Princess Royal. Having observed the plans for the Clinic develop and expand to fulfil the needs of patients, clinicians and researchers, I am now very proud to see the building finished and operating as the beating heart of this centre for excellence. Thank you to everyone who has been involved in its creation and operation.”

The Clinic is a purpose-built facility within the University of Edinburgh’s Chancellor’s Building, next to the city’s Royal Infirmary and within the flagship life sciences project Edinburgh BioQuarter.

The MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine (CRM) is closely linked to the Anne Rowling Clinic.

CRM Director Prof Charles ffrench-Constant, co-Director of the Clinic, said: “The Clinic’s location at the heart of this campus draws on the University’s world-class strength in neuroscience, stem cell research and regeneration. Because of the Anne Rowling Clinic’s unique capacity for bench-to-bedside research, in time we expect be able to translate laboratory discoveries into real benefits for patients.”

CRM Prof Siddharthan Chandran, also co-Director of the Clinic, added: “We are delighted to officially open this Clinic. All patients with these tough diseases need treatments that will slow, stop and ideally reverse damage. The Anne Rowling Clinic will pioneer discovery science and innovative clinical research through strong partnerships with the NHS, academia and industry around the world. Only by better understanding the biological processes behind these devastating diseases can we identify new targets for potential therapies and take them into clinical trials.”

In addition to the two co-Directors Prof Siddharthan Chandran and Prof Charles ffrench-Constant, CRM scientists Dr Keisuke Kaji, Dr Tilo Kunath, Dr Anna Williams and Dr Shyamanga Borooah are also involved in the research efforts of the Clinic.