A research centre has been renamed in honour of a North East expert in muscular dystrophy and related neuromuscular conditions.
The John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre, which is part of the Institute of Genetic Medicine at Newcastle University, officially adopted its new name today .
Born in Rowlands Gill, Lord Walton qualified from Newcastle Medical School, and went on to become both a consultant neurologist and professor of neurology in Newcastle, and from 1971-1981 was Dean of Medicine at the University.
The -year-old has spent his career helping improve the lives of people with muscle-wasting conditions, as well as other neurological conditions, first through medicine and then through Parliamentary campaigning.
Lord Walton said: I am deeply touched and honoured that it was decided that the centre should be called after me. It is more than 60 years since I began work on muscular dystrophy here in Newcastle and it is thrilling to see the way in which a whole area of research and management of patients has matured and developed.
I have often said that I am a simple Geordie lad, born in Rowlands Gill, brought up in this area, my father a school teacher, my mother a school teacher, my grandfather a miner, and to have been able to be at the forefront of the developments of muscular dystrophy is very exciting.
Newcastle and its reputation in the whole field of muscular dystrophy research stands very high in the world and that is something which I personally, and all the team, have every right to be proud of.
The John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre is a collaboration between Newcastle University and Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Pioneering research is carried out at the centre to develop treatments to help those with the debilitating condition.
Kate Bushby, professor of genetics at Newcastle University said: The renaming of the centre is very exciting. Lord Walton laid the foundation for the whole speciality of muscular dystrophy and he raised the profile of the condition; he started the research and he got the initial funding from the different charities and medical research council.
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Newcastle research centre renamed in honour of muscular dystrophy expert