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Pint of Science: Researching the rare to understand and treat the common
21st May at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
A rare disease affects less than 1 in 2000 so why dedicate your life to studying a disease affecting so few? Why not one of the big killers like cancer or malaria?
Find out how rare disease research can provide valuable insights into common diseases, help us better understand the fundamentals of modern science and medicine, and lead to the development of life-saving drugs.
Dr Delphine Larrieu - Cambridge Institute of Medical Research
Rare genetic premature ageing syndromes called progeria trigger the appearance of ageing signs in early childhood causing many changes to the body over time, including heart disease, bone changes, hair loss, joint and skin changes, and early death around 14 years old. Unfortunately, there is no current cure and therapies just improve the symptoms. Hear how Delphine’s team is tackling this and suggesting new treatments and how the lab’s work could also open up new perspectives into improving normal age-related pathologies.
Dr Mike Nahorski - Cambridge Institute for Medical Research
Chronic pain is a debilitating condition that affects 14 million people in England alone. But scientists think the have come a step closer to understanding it – by studying a rare group of people with congenital insensitivity to pain, who feel no pain at all. Cambridge University researchers have identified a faulty gene that seems to switch pain off in some people and it is hoped the discovery could lead to new treatments for those who live with pain every day.