Spinal cord injury research drew a royal audience when Zara Phillips visited on 12 June to attend a talk arranged by the CatWalk Trust in the AMRF Student Learning Centre at the University’s Grafton Campus.
Other visitors included the Minister of Health, the Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman, local MP and Minister of ACC Nikki Kaye, CatWalk Trust Founder Catriona Williams, CatWalk Board members and a host of television, radio and print media.
Professor Louise Nicholson gave a brief introduction to spinal cord injuries and research, while Dr Simon O'Carroll outlined the detail of the world-leading research carried out at the Centre for Brain Research.
Zara’s royal patronage of the CatWalk Trust is helping the group fundraise towards on-going support of this spinal cord injury research. The Trust is the sole funder of the University’s Spinal Cord Injury Research Facility.
Professor Colin Green, Professor Nicholson and Dr O'Carroll's research involves the use of a small piece of a protein (a connexin peptide) applied directly to an injury site, or indirectly through the bloodstream. The peptide reduces the swelling and inflammation associated with spinal cord injury by up to 50 per cent. This can, in turn, limit secondary injuries like paralysis, caused by swelling in cases of spinal cord injury.
The research is not yet in clinical trials, but the CatWalk Trust hopes to fundraise to move it on to the next phase.
Pictured from left: Dr Simon O’Carroll, Nikki Kaye, Zara Phillips, Catriona Williams and Jonathan Coleman
View the video on the NZ Herald website:
Our congratulations and heartfelt thanks go to the CatWalk Trust, which has raised and pledged $800,000 to spinal cord injury research to date.