Princess Eugenie returned to Newcastle University on 9th October 2015 to meet with Vice Chancellor Chris Brink to discuss the work that he and other leading academics are doing to help patients suffering from Muscular Dystrophy.
The research was showcased at the John Walton Muscular Dystrohy Research Centre which is located in the Centre for Life in Newcastle city centre, The Princess, who obtained a 2:1 degree in English and History of Art, was introduced to the work by Lord John Walton, who explained the main areas of development to her; these include translational research, global networking, outstanding patient diagnosis and care, and pioneering clinical trials. Experts such as Kate Bushby, Rita Horvarth, Hanns Lochmuller and Volker Straub were present.
Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, Professor Chris Day said: “This visit gave us the opportunity to highlight the world-class work carried out by the team researching muscular dystrophy. The excellent practises which are exemplified in Newcastle are setting the standards in Europe and improving treatment across the UK.”
During her visit, Princess Eugenie met patients such as Ellie Cockburn who has first-hand experience with the deteriorating condition. The eleven year old is receiving treatment at the centre for Congenital Myasthenic Syndrome.
Ellie’s mother, Tracey said: “It was lovely to meet Her Royal Highness Princess Eugenie. She was so nice to talk to and seemed really interested in Ellie and her condition. It was a real honour to meet her and we shared a lovely afternoon tea.”
In the UK alone, above 70,000 people suffer from Muscular Dystrophy or a condition related to it. It is an incurable genetic condition that causes the muscles to weaken over time as a result of changes in the muscle fibres which restrict the muscle’s function. The most common type in the UK is Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Clinical genetics consultant at Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Professor Straub said: “The team were delighted to have the opportunity to present examples of our current research to Her Royal Highness. We were able to explain how important this work is for improving our understanding about the causes of muscle disease and in developing new therapies for patients. We were also able to highlight the issues facing our patients and families who are living with muscle disease.”
Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, Professor Chris Day said: “This visit gave us the opportunity to highlight the world-class work carried out by the team researching muscular dystrophy.