News Leading Research Director Joins Board of Trustees at Duchenne UK February 2017 Duchenne UK is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Trustee, Maria Hassard. Maria is the Deputy Director of Research at the globally renowned Moorfields Biomedical and Clinical Research Centre in London. Moorfields has an international reputation for pioneering work on new therapies and treatments for diseases in eyes and vision. Maria Hassard has also worked in commercial roles for several blue chip life sciences companies including Johnson and Johnson Medical. She also ran a small company which finds commercial applications for the intellectual property of healthcare innovations. Maria Hassard said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to join such a dynamic charity who collectively are putting so much expertise, resource and passion into changing lives.” Emily Crossley and Alex Johnson from Duchenne UK said: "We believe that Maria's experience of working in the NHS and the private sector, and her extensive knowledge of clinical research and industry, will be of great help to the charity. She joins a board full of committed and passionate experts across a number of fields, who are all absolutely behind us in helping to find treatments for Duchenne, and accelerate the research pathway." To find out further information about all of our Trustees visit About Us. NOTES FOR EDITORS CONTACT DETAILS (for more information please visit our website at http://www.duchenneuk.org/, for interview requests please contact Molly at firstname.lastname@example.org) What is Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy? Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is the most common fatal genetic disease diagnosed in childhood. Children born with DMD cannot produce the protein dystrophin which is vital for muscle strength and function. Muscle weakness starts in early childhood. Many use a wheelchair by around the age of 12. As deterioration continues it leads to paralysis and early death, often in their 20s. It almost exclusively affects boys. There is no treatment or cure. In the UK there are around 2,500 boys affected and around 300, 000 worldwide. It is classified as a rare disease. Who are Duchenne UK? Duchenne UK is a lean, ambitious, and highly focused charity with a clear vision: to fund and accelerate treatments and a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The charity has been formed by the coming together of Joining Jack and Duchenne Children's Trust, the two biggest funders of research in the UK in the last three years. Its president is HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. Its patrons include the broadcasters Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Mary Nightingale, and the sports stars Owen Farrell, Kris Radlinski and Andy Farrell.