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Event to highlight life-changing research to help children born prematurely and children suffering from lung disease

Life-changing research into helping children born prematurely and those suffering from lung disease will be showcased at an event organised by Action Medical Research at the Stamford Court conference centre on Thursday 19 May.

Members of the public are invited to attend the ‘Meet our Action Heroes’ event and hear from experts Dr Samantha Johnson from the Department of Health Sciences and TIMMS group and Dr Robert Hirst from the Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation.

The event will also feature videos and a presentation about Action Medical Research and ways to support the charity - as well as a short talk from one of their long term supporters, Petronella Keeling, who received an MBE for her volunteer work with Action.

Dr Johnson is a Reader in Developmental Psychology at the Department of Health Sciences and The Infant Mortality and Morbidity Studies (TIMMS) group, University of Leicester. For over 10 years she has been involved in studies of the outcomes of children who were born prematurely. She specialises in research that tracks the development of premature babies from birth to determine the effects this has on their health and development in the long term. Most recently, her research has focused on understanding educational outcomes in preterm children and she currently leads the Premature Infants’ Skills in Mathematics (PRISM) study team investigating mathematics skills in very preterm children.

Dr Robert Hirst is the Principal Scientist at the Centre for Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD) diagnosis and research, in the Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation at the University of Leicester. PCD is a rare genetic disease that causes the cilia in the body to malfunction and this leads to recurrent chest infection and lung damage in children. Dr Hirst has been diagnosing PCD for the NHS in the midlands and north of England since 2006 and, in that time, the diagnostic team have identified over 300 new cases.

The free public ‘Meet our Action Heroes’ event takes place at the University of Leicester’s Stamford Court conference centre on Thursday 19 May from 10am until 11:15am.

Free tea/coffee and free parking will be available on the day.

For more information about the event and to book tickets visit the website.

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