UAE-funded medical research centre opens in London

Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children will welcome its first patients later this year

Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan inaugurated Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children in London on Sunday. Wam  
Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan inaugurated Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children in London on Sunday. Wam  

A UAE-backed research laboratory dedicated to offering life-saving support to children battling rare illnesses has been officially launched in London.

Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children aims to attract hundreds of the best medical specialists and researchers from across the globe in an effort to develop cures for various debilitating illnesses blighting young lives.

The bold vision for the complex was made a reality thanks to a Dh60 million donation from Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, the wife of the UAE’s Founding Father Sheikh Zayed, and chairwoman of the General Women’s Union.

Operated by Great Ormond Street Hospital in partnership with University College London, the centre will welcome its first patients later this year.

On Sunday, the research hub was officially launched by Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed, the son of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

He said the foundation of the centre was testament to the lasting legacy of goodwill laid down by Sheikh Zayed.

The opening ceremony was attended by the UAE’s ambassador to the UK, Mansoor Abulhoul, Matthew Shaw, chief executive of Great Ormond Street Hospital, parents and children.

Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children was officially opened in London on July 7. Wam
Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children was officially opened in London on July 7. Wam

Located near Great Ormond Street Hospital, the centre contains cutting-edge research laboratories in which scientists will work to develop innovative treatments for rare conditions.

An advanced suite of cleanrooms used for the production of gene therapies, tissue culture rooms to test out new treatments and a cardiac research unit all take pride of place at the facility.

It will drive research into childhood cancers, cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy.

“We look forward to achieving tangible progress in child health research through the Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Diseases in Children,” Sheikh Theyab said at the launch.

“The work of the Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children will facilitate pioneering treatments and cures for children with the aim to accelerate ground-breaking outcomes to benefit more and more children. We are thankful to the Centre for its amazing efforts to protect the wellbeing of future generations.

“The late Sheikh Zayed’s vision continues, not by ancestry, but by those who share his values. The Zayed Centre’s ambition and commitment are proof that his legacy is alive and continues to thrive.”

During an address at a Mohamed bin Zayed Majlis event held in Abu Dhabi in May, Bobby Gaspar, professor of paediatrics and immunology at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, said the centre would make a major contribution to medicine.

“The work that will take place in the Zayed Centre for Research will enable us to make breakthroughs and develop cures for rare diseases quicker than ever before, giving children everywhere the chance of a longer and fuller life,” Prof Gaspar said.

Updated: July 8, 2019 01:33 PM

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