MRC & RCOphth John Lee Fellowship
There have been a number of events this year that have contributed funds. In June, Francis Pugh kindly led a guided walk around London than raised c£450, there was a wonderful concert in October for the harpsichord and violin that raised c£1,500 – made all the more special as John’s niece, Anna Sideris, also sang.
After the Admissions Ceremony in September we had the inaugural John Lee Quiz which was brilliantly organised by Emily Beet, Head of Examinations Department at the College. We are grateful to the Moorfields Surgeon Association which generously settled the catering bill, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists that made the venue available without charge. With Mr Brian Little as the auctioneer and Mr Bill Newman the quizmaster, the evening raised c £11,600. We hope to have another quiz in 2014.
We are now busy raising further funds so that the Fellowship can be awarded a second time.
The eighth President of the College, Mr John Lee, died during his presidency, which was an enormous loss. The College intends to commemorate his outstanding contribution to the ophthalmic profession by creating a named Research Fellowship jointly funded by the Medical Research Council and the College. This is a particularly apt memorial for he was a strong advocate of academic medicine.
So far, the College has raised £20,707 towards our share of the Fellowship costs which are expected to be in the order of £125,000.
If you would like to make a contribution to this fund you may do so in one of the following ways:
John's Obituary from College News can be downloaded. Mr Richard Harrad has written an obituary for the journal Strabismus which can be viewed at http://informahealthcare.com/doi/full/10.3109/09273972.2010.534028
The first MRC/John Lee Fellowship has been awarded to Dr Peter Morgan-Warren.
The research funded by the Fellowship is studying cellular and molecular signalling mechanisms that can be manipulated to promote the survival and regeneration of optic nerve cells after injury. Using cutting edge laboratory techniques, we are developing a deeper understanding of why neurons in the optic nerve degenerate after injury, and have identified some candidate molecules that can be targeted as a therapeutic strategy to reverse this process. We have shown that it is possible to prevent optic neurons from degenerating after an injury, and even promote some nerve regrowth. Our experiments are continuing to investigate how further improvements can be made in order to develop an optimised treatment. It is very exciting that we are making progress and our research could potentially be translated to the clinic to offer hope to patients who have lost vision due to optic nerve injury.
Dr Peter Morgan-Warren
MRC/RCOphth John Lee Fellow & MD Student Neurotrauma & Neurodegeneration , University of Birmingham