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Dr Manju Kurian wins the 2017 Sir Jules Thorn Award for Biomedical Research

23 November 2017

Dr Manju Kurian wins the 2017 Sir Jules Thorn Award for Biomedical Research

The UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health is delighted to announce that Dr Manju Kurian has been awarded the 2017 Sir Jules Thorn Award for Biomedical Research.  The Sir Jules Thorn Charitable Trust offers one grant annually of up to £1.5 million to support a programme of translational research for up to 5 years.  Applicants for this prestigious award must be sponsored by a leading UK medical school or NHS organisation, and each institution is restricted to submitting one application per year.  This award of nearly £1.5 million will support Dr Kurian’s work investigating genetic movement disorders that mimic Cerebral Palsy (CP). Her project aims to improve treatments for her patients by developing therapies that target specific genetic defects.

Dr Manju Kurian is a Principal Research Associate and Wellcome Intermediate Clinical Fellow in the Developmental Neurosciences programme at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. She undertakes her clinical work as a Consultant Paediatric Neurologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital.  2017 has been an extremely successful year for Dr Kurian:  in May she was awarded a L’Oréal-UNESCO UK and Ireland Award for Women in Science award, and, in July, Dr Kurian was successful in obtaining an NIHR Research Professorship.

Professor Rosalind L Smyth, the Director of the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, said: “Manju Kurian’s work is providing important breakthroughs in childhood movement disorders which are already benefitting families of affected children.  This award will enable her to develop her basic science programme to drive these exciting translational benefits.”

Dr Manju Kurian, winner of the Sir Jules Thorn Award, said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been awarded the 2017 Jules Thorn Award for Biomedical Research – it will allow me to not only gain a deeper scientific understanding of genetic forms of cerebral palsy, but also explore much-needed novel therapeutic approaches for these medically resistant conditions.  In this era of personalized medicine, such work constitutes research priority.”