Daniel Zeichner MP visited Addenbrooke’s Hospital to mark the international Rare Diseases Day with a tour of Cambridge University Hospital’s facilities and a roundtable discussion with the local rare diseases community and staff carrying out cutting-edge research.

The visit was hosted by Professor John Bradley, Director of the National Institute for Health Research’s (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at Cambridge University Hospitals, and Professor Lucy Raymond, Professor of Medical Genetics and Neurodevelopment.

To mark International Rare Disease Day Daniel Zeichner visited the East of England Genomics Medicine Centre. Organisations involved in the project include Papworth Trust, Scope and Disability Rights UK. Daniel Zeichner’s visit will help raise awareness of the importance of rare disease research.

In Cambridge, the Rare Diseases Translational Research Collaboration (RD-TRC) has been joining in the celebrations over recent years with engagement events at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Each year, organisers decide a theme for the event and, in 2017, the theme is “Research”, providing an opportunity to showcase the benefits of rare disease research.

The celebrations come as the All Party Parliamentary Group for Rare, Genetic and Undiagnosed Conditions has called for an implementation plan for the Strategy for Rare Diseases in England.

Daniel Zeichner MP said: “It is estimated that 3.5 million people will be affected by a rare disease at some stage in their lives, so the pioneering research at Addenbrooke’s has the potential to change so many lives so much for the better. I know my parliamentary colleagues are working very hard to implement by 2020 the Strategy for Rare Diseases in England so that nobody is left behind just because they have a rare disease.”

Professor John Bradley said: “We are delighted to be able to share with Daniel Zeichner our achievements in rare diseases research, and to introduce him to patients and carers who are helping us to make these advances.”

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