UCL News


Family fund new amyloidosis lab

4 March 2008


ucl.ac.uk/medicine/amyloidosis/nac/" target="_self">National Amyloidosis Centre

Friends and relatives of former amyloidosis patient Jack O'Neill were present at the dedication of a laboratory in his name in at the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust on Friday 29 February.

Mr O'Neill, 46, who was treated at the National Amyloidosis Centre based at the trust, died from the disease in 2006. His family established the Jack O'Neill Memorial Fund in his memory and it has made donations totalling £150,000 to support the UCL Amyloidosis Research Fund at the Royal Free.  Fundraising activities in the name of Mr O'Neill included a very successful ball.

The money has funded a laboratory for testing patients' samples for diagnosis and monitoring of the disease as well as other research.

Professor Mark Pepys, the centre's director, said: "Most official funding for our work is strictly earmarked for specific purposes so we are extremely grateful to generous donors, such as Jack O'Neill's family and friends, for their wonderful contributions which can be used flexibly."

Amyloidosis is a disease caused by accumulation of abnormal protein fibres in the tissues of the body.  It can affect any part of the body, leads to organ failure and is usually fatal.  It is a rare disease and difficult to diagnose, except by doctors with expert knowledge.  The results of treatment are dramatically better in the few centres around the world that specialise in the disease.

The centre at the Royal Free is the only one in the UK specialising in the condition
More than 5,000 amyloidosis patients have attended the centre, where many important advances have been made, including the discovery that amyloid deposits are reversible in many patients.

To find out more about about the Natonal Amyloidosis Centre, use the link at the top of the article.