Streaking Meerkats

In April 2014 over 30 runners from the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) took part in the Sheffield half marathon. The team consisted of researchers and family members (one of which had even travelled all the way from Australia to take part!). Association-funded researcher, Dr Emily Goodall, blogs about the Streaking Meerkats running team’s half marathon challenge.

A unique running team

I took up running for the usual reasons, to increase fitness, lose a bit of weight and boost energy levels. Running was the ideal exercise for a hectic lifestyle, just grab a pair of trainers and get going! I joined a very friendly running group where I met Tracy, a motivational fitness instructor with a ‘can do’ attitude. So far, so normal.

Then a crazy idea began to germinate, why not set myself a real challenge – running a half marathon with less than a years’ worth of training. This developed into – why do this alone, a team has greater power to raise money and awareness. Add a catchy team name to attract attention and the Streaking Meerkats were born!

Mo at streaking meerkat bootcamp with Monty, local mascot for “not the full monty” fun run team!

Mo at streaking meerkat bootcamp with Monty, local mascot for “not the full monty” fun run team!

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The ALS biomarkers study: a journey into the disease

Dr Andrea Malaspina is an Association-funded researcher investigating biomarkers, or ‘biological fingerprints’ of MND. Here he blogs about working with patients and basic science.

I regularly meet people living with MND due to my role as a Consultant Neurologist at the Bart’s and the London MND Care Centre and one of the most common questions I get asked is about getting involved in research. My research enables people living with MND to take part, therefore bridging the gap between the lab and the clinic.

Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) Blizzard Institute MND group

Queen Mary’s University of London (QMUL) Blizard Institute MND group

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The Trust Fundraising Team

With a funding commitment of £8 million to a portfolio of over 50 on-going projects, fundraising for MND research continues to be a key area of work for the MND Association. Our Trust Fundraising team blog about their role in helping to achieve a world free from MND.

So how do we fundraise for research?

At the MND Association funds come from a range of sources including trusts, major donors, legacies, individuals and our fundraising branch and group network.   Our branches and groups do a huge amount of fundraising for the Association, raising around £2.3m a year and they often generously choose to support research programmes that are close to their area of operation.

Our trust funding ranges from funders making large donations to specific research projects such as the recent support of the Garfield Weston Foundation for Dr Andrea Malaspina’s research programme looking for biomarkers in ALS, to a whole range of trust funders who make regular, small general donations towards any element of our research programme. Read the rest of this entry »

Can fish get MND???

Dr Tennore Ramesh is based at the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) based at the University of Sheffield. His Association funded research is investigating the early stages of MND in zebrafish, as well as screening potential drugs.

Dr Ramesh Tennore

Dr Ramesh Tennore

Would you ever consider that fish and humans have parallels? Interestingly it’s a “Yes”. They are vertebrates (animals with backbones) like humans and mice. They have organs that are similar to humans and have a brain and spinal cord. But wait a minute, the fish have gills not lungs and they do not have a tongue or a larynx with which to make noise or speak, which is an important symptom in MND and are generally called bulbar symptoms.

Zebrafish in the past were widely used to study early development. However, they are emerging as good models to study human diseases that occur in adulthood. Our laboratory wanted to test if zebrafish could model such complex neurological diseases. Read the rest of this entry »

An insight into MND zebrafish research

Natalie Rounding is a first year PhD student funded by the MND Association. Based at the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN), University of Sheffield, she gives us an insight into zebrafish and how they can be used in MND research.

CDBG Aquarium Sheffield (Natlie Rounding)

Image of one the zebrafish aquariums in the MRC Centre for Developmental and Biomedical Genetics, University of Sheffield.

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The role of the Research Manager at SITraN

Dr Sarah Langridge is the Research Manager at the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN). Here she blogs about her job role and how she works with the MND researchers based there.

Welcome to my first ever blog. You might be wondering what a Research Manager actually does from day to day… to be truthful a little bit of everything!

I have worked for Professor Dame Pamela Shaw in the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) now for about 2 and half years and it’s a really varied job working with great people who are trying to find a cure for MND.

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Giving voice to people living with MND: Voice Banking

Phillipa Rewaj, Rebecca Devon and Shuna Colville from the Euan MacDonald Centre for MND Research, University of Edinburgh, help us celebrate Global MND Awareness day. This year’s theme is ‘voice’ and here the researchers provide us with an update on their pioneering ‘voicebanking project’, which is part-funded by the MND Association.

 

Ring ring….ring ring….

“Hello?”

“Hi there, it’s me.”

“Oh hello dear, how nice to hear from you!”

 

Sound familiar? How many of your friends or family could you recognise from a few words of their voice? Two, five, ten or more?

It may have never previously occurred to you, but our voices are as unique as our face shape, our walk and even our eyes. A person’s voice is an essential component of his or her identity.

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