It would be great if we could highlight someone whose life had been improved by the research that we support, but of course it’s not so simple. Most medical ‘breakthroughs’ take many years – often decades.
Of course some of the projects that we have supported have led to dead ends. We have no problem with that. As long as the results are published, new knowledge has been made available to the research community and others will choose different routes.
One way for us to measure success is to study what happened after the work that we supported is finished. What did it lead to; have the research teams acquired more funding for their work after our initial support?
We were, therefore, delighted to learn that Tim Morgan’s work highlighted in a previous Newsletter is going from strength to strength. Tim was our first student. He is a chemist and worked in the Sutherland lab at the University of Glasgow to produce a material (LW223) to enable doctors to assess the level of inflammation in MS and other conditions.
Tim is now working in the Tavares lab in Edinburgh where they are exploring the value of LW223 in patients with heart disease. Along with an industry partner, Life Molecular Imaging (LMI), they have been awarded £2m from the Medical Research Council’s Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme to test LW223 in healthy volunteers and in patients who have had a heart attack.
This is not the field of application that they had in mind initially, but the web is complex with many pathways. If our efforts to support neurological research can benefit those with heart conditions then that’s great.
We would like to congratulate all who are working on this. We share their excitement.