World-leading scientists take part in ice bucket challenge

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More than 40 researchers from the Sheffield Institute of Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) have taken part in the ice bucket challenge to show their support for a global awareness-raising campaign for motor neurone disease (MND).

World-leading experts from the University of Sheffield endured buckets of ice-cold water being dumped over their heads after receiving international challenges from Western University in Ontario, Canada, and the University of Leuven in Belgium.

The campaign, which has already been supported by celebrities including David Beckham, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga and former US president George Bush, was kicked off by the family of American baseball player Pete Frates who was diagnosed with MND, known in the US as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

The ice bucket challenge has already helped to raise millions of pounds for research into MND across the world.

MND expert Professor Dame Pam Shaw, Director of SITraN, said: “We braced ourselves for the cold plunge of the ice-water challenge to raise awareness of the plight of people afflicted by MND and to encourage people in the UK to support research into this condition through philanthropy.

“We were challenged from Canada and Belgium and the SITraN team will in turn challenge our friends and colleagues at King's College London, Trinity College Dublin and the University of Sydney.

Any generous donations from people watching our gasps of icy discomfort can be made to the Motor Neurone Disease Association, ALS Worldwide or the SITraN Streaking Meerkats campaign.

SITraN was officially unveiled by Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh in November 2010 with the vision of overcoming the devastating effects of MND for affected people and their families.

Four years on, SITraN has grown immensely and developed into a leading global facility which is at the forefront of research, expertise and pioneering new treatments for MND and related neurological conditions such as Parkinson's, Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and Alzheimer's Disease – bringing new hope to patients and families across the country and internationally.

To watch SITraN’s challenge visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlRaSpVtvCk

Donations can be made to the SITraN Streaking Meerkats campaign at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/StreakingMeerkats, the Motor Neurone Disease Association at www.mndassociation.org or ALS Worldwide at www.alsworldwide.org.

Additional information

The University of Sheffield

With almost 25,000 of the brightest students from around 120 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

In 2014 it was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education and in the last decade has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

Sheffield has five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

For further information, please visit www.sheffield.ac.uk

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