Lowe Syndrome Trust Awards Further Research Grant to UCL Institute of Ophthalmology
Jonathon Ross-supported charity funds cellular study of incurable disease
June 09, 2010, Press Dispensary.
Dr Tim Levine, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology CU
The Lowe Syndrome Trust, the UK based charity which funds vital research into the incurable childhood disease Lowe Syndrome, is awarding a further grant of GBP £80,000 to Dr Tim Levine at the Institute of Ophthalmology London, with a view to developing drugs that may reverse some of the disease’s worst side-effects. The announcement comes soon after an award to Pietro De Camilli at Yale University, who is looking at the disorder’s underlying genetics.
Dr Levine has made an important breakthrough and it’s so important that we’re able to help him continue, with the hope that we might one day be able to restore our children’s vital body functions.
Lowe Syndrome is a genetic disorder which affects the brain, eyes, kidneys and bones in boys. The Lowe Syndrome Trust, though small, is the main source of grants to fund research across the UK and USA and is presently celebrating its tenth anniversary year with a series of events aiming to raise GBP £1m.
Dr Levine said: “Here at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, this will be our second grant from the charity and it enables us to continue in our quest to understand and treat Lowe Syndrome.
... a necessary first step on the road to developing drugs that reverse the effects of Lowe Syndrome, restoring vital functionality.
Dr Tim Levine
“We were fortunate in that our first project made the unexpected finding that, in Lowe Syndrome, cells that form sheets and tubules do not grow together normally. This might explain why complex cellular structures, such as the tubules that concentrate urine in the kidney, fail to function in Lowe Syndrome. Our new project will develop this important new line of research to show how we can rescue growth of cells in tubules, a necessary first step on the road to developing drugs that reverse the effects of Lowe Syndrome, restoring vital functionality. We are delighted to receive this grant from the Lowe Syndrome Trust. ”
Lorraine Thomas, founder and chair of the Lowe Syndrome Trust, said: “Our ability to fund research of this kind is what lies behind the Lowe Syndrome Trust. Dr Levine has made an important breakthrough and it’s so important that we’re able to help him continue, with the hope that we might one day be able to restore our children’s vital body functions.”
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Notes for editors
About the Lowe Syndrome Trust
Lowe Syndrome Trust was set up in June 2000 by Lorraine Thomas after her son, Oscar, was diagnosed with the condition in 1999. No government support or UK research into the syndrome was available at that time and, for the last ten years, Lorraine has devoted her life to raising money for the charity, which now supports many families affected by the disease and has become the main source of grants to fund research across the UK and USA. It was recently accepted by the NHS as an NIHR Partner Organisation, boosting its ability to attract the highest quality research studies.
Supporters of the charity include trustee Jonathan Ross, patrons Penny Lancaster Stewart (wife of Rod), Christopher Biggins, Sir Richard Desmond, Tom Conti, Melanie Sykes, Melanie Blatt, Sir Richard Sykes and Baroness Susan Greenfield, and many other supporters and fundraisers including Tony Hadley (Spandau Ballet) and jazz musician Jamie Cullum. The Trust is celebrating its tenth anniversary year in 2010 through a series of fundraising events with the target of raising £1m.
The Lowe Syndrome Trust is a UK registered charity, No 1081241.
For further information regarding Lowe Syndrome Trust tenth anniversary events and initiatives please contact Mark Emms on 0845 127 6676 or , or visit http://www.lowe10.com
For general information about the Lowe Syndrome Trust, please contact:
Lorraine Thomas, chair
The Lowe Syndrome Trust
Tel: 020 7794 8858 / 07958 444020
For further information regarding Lowe Syndrome Trust tenth anniversary events and initiatives please contact:
Tel: 0845 127 6676