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J.K. Rowling donates further £15m to multiple sclerosis research at BioQuarter campus

The author J.K. Rowling has donated £15.3m to the University of Edinburgh to help improve the lives of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and similar conditions.

The investment – which is inclusive of Gift Aid – will help create new facilities and support vital research at the University’s Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic. The Clinic was set up following a previous donation from Ms Rowling in 2010, and is named in memory of her mother who died of MS, aged 45.

It has established itself as an integrated care and research facility focusing on MS and neurological conditions with the aim of bringing more clinical studies and trials to patients.

Ms Rowling’s gift will also support research projects focussing on the invisible disabilities experienced by people living with MS – such as cognitive impairment and pain.

University experts hope the donation will create an enduring global legacy that will have a lasting impact on people with MS and their families.

J.K. Rowling said: “When the Anne Rowling Clinic was first founded, none of us could have predicted the incredible progress that would be made in the field of Regenerative Neurology, with the Clinic leading the charge.

“I am delighted to now support the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic into a new phase of discovery and achievement, as it realises its ambition to create a legacy of better outcomes for generations of people with MS and non-MS neurodegenerative diseases.

“It’s a matter of great pride for me that the Clinic has combined these lofty ambitions with practical, on the ground support and care for people with MS, regardless of stage and type; I’ve heard at first-hand what a difference this support can make.

“I am confident that the combination of clinical research and practical support delivered by Professor Siddharthan Chandran and his exemplary team will create a definitive step-change for people with MS and associated conditions.”

Neurological conditions studied at the clinic include multiple sclerosis motor neurone disease (MND), Parkinson’s and dementias.

Professor Siddharthan Chandran, Director, Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic said: “Our research is shaped by listening to, and involving, individuals who are living with these tough conditions. The Anne Rowling Clinic’s vision is to offer everyone with MS or other neurodegenerative diseases, such as MND, the opportunity to participate in a suite of clinical studies and trials.

“This incredibly far-sighted and generous donation will unlock the potential of personalised medicine for people with MS in Scotland and further afield.”

University of Edinburgh Principal and Vice Chancellor, Professor Peter Mathieson, said: “We are immensely honoured that J. K. Rowling has chosen to continue her support for the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic. This inspiring donation will fund a whole new generation of researchers who are focussed on discovering and delivering better treatments and therapies for patients.”