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Harry Potter and the Clinical Trial

12th September 2019

Clinical specialists and communication partners who support them may not have the literary skills of JK Rowling, but they show just as much expertise

JK Rowling is said to have earned around £750 million – three quarters of a billion pounds – from her hugely successful books and movie adaptations. Fans of the Harry Potter series won’t begrudge such an imaginative author being so well rewarded, and her philanthropy is as admirable as her literary skill. Today it was announced that JK Rowling has donated £15.3 million to an Edinburgh clinic that specialises in MS research.

The Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic at Edinburgh University is named after the author’s late mother and was established with an initial £10m donation from JK Rowling in 2010. Having seen her mother succumb to multiple sclerosis and pass away at the age of just 45, she is ploughing money into research and development that will benefit others.

Over the past decade the clinic has built an enviable reputation in regenerative neurology, not only advancing treatment of MS but also taking notable strides forward in motor neurone disease, Parkinson's and dementia. The work being done by these gifted, committed clinicians is a microcosm of the progress in the wider pharmaceutical industry.

For all the extraordinary research being done at the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic, Professor Siddharthan Chandran, the clinic director, attributes the success of its treatments and clinical trials to a simple universal skill. In his own words;

"Our research is shaped by listening to, and involving, individuals who are living with these tough conditions"

We couldn’t agree more. Successful clinical trials stand or fall on empathetic communication with patients. They depend on showing people in challenging situations that you understand the challenges and are treating each of them as a valued individual. Clinical specialists and the communication partners who support them may not have the literary skills of JK Rowling, and they certainly won’t earn the same kind of money, but they are showing just as much expertise and in our book they deserve just as much respect.

 

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