Sheffield Institute has potential to transform millions of lives

SITran feature ....    Prof Pamela Shaw '  See Story Sheena Hastings  Picture Chris Lawton   '16/01/13
SITran feature .... Prof Pamela Shaw ' See Story Sheena Hastings Picture Chris Lawton '16/01/13
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FINDING a cure for devastating diseases is moving ever closer thanks to world class research being carried out as a Sheffield centre.

Work under way at the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience – SITraN – has the potential to transform millions of lives across the world.

Top of the agenda is motor neurone disease, currently an incurable condition, which has been the focus of two years of investigations since the centre opened.

Work is also now under way on related neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s, spinal muscular atrophy and Alzheimer’s Disease - bringing new hope to patients and families across the country.

The £18 million centre brings together state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment including a clinical database of more than 1,500 patients and the largest resource of human brain-bank material in the world.

Director Professor Pamela Shaw said: “The vision behind the creation of SITraN was to establish a world class research institute where teams of clinicians and scientists could be brought together under one roof to focus their combined skills on solving the problem of MND and related neurodegenerative conditions.

“We aim to harness some of the exciting developments in neuroscience and translate these new approaches into benefits for our patients in the clinic.”

Professor Shaw added: “Outstanding benefits have already materialised. SITraN is acting as a magnet attracting top quality researchers from around the world to come to Sheffield, as well as research funding, philanthropic donations and pharmaceutical industry partners to support our work.

“Several of our research programmes have already made a difference to life expectancy and quality of life for people afflicted by MND and more exciting and innovative programmes are in the pipeline.”

Over the past 24 months discoveries made by the SITraN team have attracted more than £7.3 million of new research grant funding.