Trachea transplants and charities

This week’s story about the world’s first transplant of a new trachea airway in a child using the child’s own stem cells  has a significant charity dimension to it.

One of the many partners in the European-wide team who made it possible is Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity who incidentially became an AMRC member this week.  Together with University College London (UCL) Institute for Child Health they are the largest centre for paediatric research outside the US.  Indeed, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity are in the top ten charities in the UK by research expenditure.

Space and time does not allow journalists to detail the many partnerships and connections between funders and scientists which are an inherent part of the history of many scientific breakthroughs.  But you can be sure that behind every headline there is not just one story but often many stories of howthe  science was developed.

A very simple and impactful visual representation of this is contained in the Wellcome Trust’s new History Timeline on its website.  It takes a bit of finding but if you click on the ‘Read a research story’ button and click through on ‘high quality researchers,’ ‘Promoting recovery after stroke’ followed by ‘funding timeline,’  you’ll find a graphic showing all the funders that have fostered the career of one particular talented scientist (Dr Johansen-Berg) and her work looking at the anatomy, physiology and connections in the brain and how these change after stroke.  As the website says, it is research that is likely to have a ‘profound effect on clinical neuroscience and beyond.’

The timeline shows how Dr Johansen-Berg’s work has been funded by six different funders at different points since 1997 including three AMRC members – the Wellcome Trust, MS Society and Stroke Association

Who knows we may also be reading the results of these charity connections in the fulness of time.

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