A LEADING North-East scientist has won a prestigious award for her pioneering work into neuromuscular diseases.

Professor Kate Bushby, from Newcastle University, has received the 2015 EURORDIS Scientific Award, which recognises her outstanding research into rare inherited neuromuscular genetics.

Nominations for this award were received from the public, giving an opportunity for everybody in the rare disease community and beyond to have their say on who should get the top accolade.

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Professor Bushby, who is an expert in neuromuscular genetics at Newcastle University, is director of the John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre, based at Newcastle’s International Centre for Life. She is also honorary consultant geneticist at Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The research centre is at the forefront of developments in neuromuscular diseases as its team work with experts and patient organisations from around the globe to help improve diagnosis, care and treatment for patients.

Professor Bushby said: “I am delighted to have received this award: a real sign of recognition that the John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre is a world leader in the field of rare diseases.

Genetic neuromuscular diseases are disorders that affect nerves that control the body’s voluntary movements, and a number of conditions are extremely rare.

Dr Marita Pohlschmidt, from Muscular Dystrophy UK, said: “Professor Bushby is an outstanding scientist, and clinician, who has made the John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre an internationally renowned centre of excellence for neuromuscular research and standards of care.

Alongside Professor Bushby, other experts leading the John Walton Research Centre are Professors Hanns Lochmüller and Volker Straub.