19 March 2024 News

Sam Perkins lab visit

Researchers at the University of Nottingham are joining forces with Stand Against MND, the charity co-founded by Sam Perkins who has MND, and the MND Association, to carry out research to better understand MND in order to speed up the race to find new treatments. 

The research has been made possible thanks to funding from Stand Against MND.

Following my MND diagnosis back in 2019 I was determined to do anything I could to make a difference. To now be at a point where we have raised almost £250,000 is incredible, and I’m so grateful to everyone who has fundraised and donated to Stand Against MND.  In recognition of the fact that much of our fundraising is done locally, we felt investing in the MND research base in Nottingham was the right thing to do. We are also directing funds to other early career researchers (ECRs) across the UK, trying to increase the number of scientists working on understanding this disease, for the benefit of patients in the future.  

When we founded Stand Against MND in early 2020 it was difficult to know what sort of impact we might have, so launching a partnership like this with the support of the University of Nottingham and the MND Association gives me an immense sense of pride. It wouldn’t be possible without our supporters and my carers, so a massive thank you has to go out to them.

Sam Perkins, Co-Founder and Trustee of Stand Against MND

The announcement comes within weeks of International Day of Women and Girls in Science, and this contribution from Sam Perkins and his charity will support the MND Association PhD studentship held by talented, female early career researcher, Hannah Bailey

I’m incredibly grateful to Sam Perkins at Stand Against MND and all who have fundraised for this generous support. This PhD studentship, also thanks to the MND Association, allows me to benefit from excellent training, materials and guidance. Thanks to this I feel incredibly supported in starting my career in MND research, and hope to make valuable contributions to our understanding and treatment of MND.

Hannah Bailey, recipient of Stand Against MND Studentship funded in collaboration with the MND Association

The donation from Stand Against MND is also directed towards supporting ECRs, developing the next generation of MND research leaders. 

This significant donation from Sam Perkins and Stand Against MND represents countless hours of fundraising efforts by so many. We at the MND Association are incredibly grateful that Sam has chosen to donate these funds to further MND research. We’re delighted to see the PhD studentship has been named after Sam’s charity Stand Against MND, as it honours his drive, determination and dedication to help researchers make those important discoveries, which will take us closer to effective therapies and eventually a cure. We continue to be inspired by Sam, and thank him for everything he is doing to support our work.

Dr Brian Dickie MBE, Director of Research at the MND Association

Sam’s funding comes on top of recent support from the MND Association to the University of Nottingham team for a further project that seeks to better understand the disease.

This generous support from Sam Perkins at Stand Against MND, alongside that of the MND Association, is so important as it not only helps us build the critical mass to ensure that the University of Nottingham continues to part of the international effort to beat MND, but it also ensures that the most talented young scientists have the opportunity to start a career in MND research. Sam reminds us why we do what we do.

Professor Rob Layfield, School of Life Sciences, University of Nottingham

In line with this focus, the MND Association event specifically tailored to ECRs, MND EnCouRage UK, will run again this year in July.