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£2m donation to support regenerative medicine research


An international philanthropist has announced a major commitment to the University of Edinburgh to boost research into tissue regeneration and repair.

The £2 million gift from Martin KS Lee – a director of the Lee Shau Kee Foundation in Hong Kong – will support teams combating major diseases such as heart and lung disease, liver disease, diabetes, cancer and neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s.

The investment will create PhD scholarships in support of vital research at the University’s Institute for Regeneration and Repair (IRR).

Mr Lee says he was motivated to make the donation after being impressed by the University’s world-leading regenerative medicine research.

The Martin KS Lee Doctoral Fellowships will provide opportunities for the next generation of stem cell scientists. Beginning in 2021, at least nine students selected from Hong Kong and the UK will have access to fully-funded, four-year PhD placements with research teams at the IRR.

The programme will include an annual Symposium, which will bring together students and faculty. Regenerative medicine experts from Hong Kong universities will be invited as keynote speakers.

Professor Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh said ” This generous donation, at a time of great financial uncertainty worldwide, is an indication of the vision of Martin Lee and his confidence and trust in the University of Edinburgh and its superb research staff and students, and his belief that academic partnerships between Hong Kong and Scotland can be mutually beneficial, allowing the next generation of bright, talented and hard-working researchers to flourish in our world-leading research environment.”

Holders of the Fellowships will also have the chance to experience research environments in Hong Kong through the University’s numerous partnerships in the region.

Summer schools in Hong Kong will offer the students the opportunity to participate in a week of academic and social activities at hosting research institutions.

Professor Stuart Forbes, Director of the IRR added ” This extremely generous donation will boost Regenerative Medicine research in Edinburgh and help train the next generation of scientist in this important area. The Institute for Regeneration and Repair is focused on developing effective therapies for devastating diseases that currently have no good treatment options.”

Martin Lee said ” I am honoured to have the opportunity to support outstanding research students at the University’s Institute for Regeneration and Repair. I am absolutely confident that their meaningful research will be a great success and will bring benefits to all mankind.”