Duchenne UK news

Heart specialist joins Duchenne UK scientific board

February 2017

Duchenne UK is pleased to announce that Dr John Bourke -- a leading cardiologist with a specialist interest in treating and monitoring inherited neuromuscular disorders including Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy -- is joining our Scientific Advisory Board. 

Dr Bourke is a Consultant Cardiologist at the Department of Cardiology at Freeman Hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne. He is also an Honorary Clinical Lecturer at the Institute of Genetic Medicine at Newcastle University.

Our scientific advisory board is made up of some of the world's leading experts in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. It includes the different skills of doctors, scientists and drug developers, so that we can look at each project and ask: Is this good science? Can this be taken into the clinic? What hurdles exist? Is this being replicated anywhere else?

Dr Bourke runs a dedicated Cardiology-Muscle Clinic at Freeman Hospital. He also leads research into preventing and treating heart weakness in boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy -- one of the major causes of early death. He is currently lead investigator in the DMD heart protection study, looking at the effect of ACE-inhibitors and beta-blockers on cardiomyopathy in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. 

It may be possible to protect the heart in DMD patients, using existing drugs like ACE-inhibitors and beta-blockers, although the benefits of these treatments in DMD have not been scientifically tested in a clinical trial. Dr Bourke’s research will determine whether combining the two drugs in boys with DMD prevents heart deterioration.

To read more about the members of our Scientific Advisory Board please visit our website:


Published on 24 February 2017

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