Your Impact 21FB

Raring to go: New MND PhD students will be aiming to make up for lost time in 2021

Back in November 2019, we awarded funding for four PhD studentships in 2020. It’s fair to say that 2020 wasn’t the best year for young researchers to begin new projects, with many labs forced to close for much of the year.

For two studentships the supervisors postponed work until the beginning of 2021. We spoke to the joint supervisors of one award, Dr Sarah Mizielinska, and Dr Patricia Gomez-Suaga. With their young PhD student ready to start, they’re gearing up to make 2021 a year that really counts.

Based at the Maurice Wohl Neuroscience Institute, their work furthers research into the behaviour of the C9orf72 gene – the most prevalent cause of familial MND. With their project kicking off around the time you read this, both researchers shared with us how eager they are for their new PhD student to join them. 

Dr Mizielinska, who completed her own PhD 11 years ago, explains: “I’m really looking forward to getting back to the lab and seeing my team. I’m a firm believer that challenges make you stronger. Limited lab time has made us focus on only the most important experiments.”

Dr Gomez-Suaga, agrees the lessons of 2020 will have a positive impact“I am optimistic for 2021 because 2020 showed us the power of scientific global collaboration, with researchers developing COVID-19 vaccines in a really short time.”

Both researchers are acutely aware of the role supporters like you play in their work. They’re determined to make the most of this opportunity to jointly supervise a new student for three years.

“For young MND researchers, your support is vital”, says Dr Gomez-Suaga. “We’re committed to working hard in order to identify new targets for therapeutic intervention for MND.”


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Nothing stops the MND Symposium

2020 was the year the MND Association embraced collaboration and innovation like never before. And that spirit was in full display at the first virtual International Symposium on ALS/MND in December 2020.

A thoroughly modern approach

In the last issue of ‘Your Impact’, we highlighted how MND researchers were adapting to lockdown. From setting up labs in their homes to finding new ways to share ideas and results – there was no shortage of ingenuity at play.

You’re the beating heart in the fight against MND

The events of 2020 may have turned all our lives upside down, but MND supporters like you have continued to give their all. We’re so grateful for every single donation made to support our work...

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