UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


Dr Manju Kurian awarded NIHR Research Professorship to investigate genetic causes of cerebral palsy

11 September 2017

Manju Kurian, awarded a NIHR Research Professorship in 2017


We are delighted to announce that Dr Manju Kurian has been awarded a prestigious National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Research Professorship.  Dr Manju Kurian is one of five successful nominees in the 2017 round of awards, and is the fourth academic from the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (GOS ICH) to receive this award.

These NIHR awards enable outstanding early career clinical academics to develop a programme of research over a five-year period dedicated specifically to translational research.  It is a key requirement of this scheme that post holders retain a continuing link with service delivery.  By supporting clinical academics at a professorial level, the scheme further strengthens clinical research leadership, and accelerates the transfer of research discoveries into improved health outcomes.

Dr Manju Kurian is a Principal Research Associate and Wellcome Intermediate Clinical Fellow in the Developmental Neurosciences programme at GOS ICH. She undertakes her clinical work as a Consultant Paediatric Neurologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital.  Dr Kurian's research is focused on investigating the genetic causes of cerebral palsy, a common childhood condition that can result in significant disability including problems with movement and co-ordination, as well as with learning and behaviour. Although traditionally associated with birth injury, it is increasingly recognised that a significant number of children labelled as "cerebral palsy" have an underlying faulty gene causing their problems. 

Over the course of this NIHR Professorship, Dr Kurian plans to identify these disease-causing genes and develop practical guidelines to aid patient diagnosis and management.  This NIHR-funded programme will also enable the development of stem cell laboratory models to better understand disease mechanisms and develop new therapies. Commenting on her NIHR Professorship, Dr Kurian said "I am absolutely delighted to have been awarded this prestigious fellowship which will enable me to make accurate diagnoses and develop much needed personalised medicine strategies for my patients, with the ultimate aim of improving their quality of life."

This report presents independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) (and Health Education England if applicable). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.