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Rare Disease Day 2013

Rare Disease Day 2013 took place on 28 February

Rare Disorders without Borders!

In Europe, a rare disease is defined as one with an incidence of less than 1 in 2,000 people. While each of them is rare, there are more than 7,000 rare diseases, which together affect 24 million (six per cent) people in Europe and take 20 per cent of all health care costs. 

More than 200 key stage 4 and 5 students and members of the public took part in  this year's event which included presentations, hands-on activities, tours of our research labs and networking with our current undergraduate students.

 Watch our talks

Activities took place from 10am - 3pm on Thursday 28 February.

  • Visitors found out about Royal Holloway research into rare genetic disorders and potential cures
  • They heard from Jeans for Genes Patron, Adam Pearson, about what it's like to live with facial disfiguring disorder neurofibromatosis 
  • Visitors discovered the zany side of science with Zombie Science
  •  They built their own DNA
  • They also learnt about rare diseases from patient charities Genetic Alliance UK, the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign and many more
  • Visitors discussed the implications of genetics testing for individuals and their families
  • They got hands-on with genetics with the Society of Biology, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, the British Society for Gene and Cell Therapy and Jeans for Genes
  • And discovered from our current students what it's like to study biological sciences at university

Royal Holloway is a leading institution in the development of novel therapies for rare diseases, including Spinal muscular atrophy, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and Severe combined immunodeficiency. 

Much of this research is carried out in the labs of our organiser  Dr Rafael Yáñez and co-organiser  Professor George Dickson.

For further information about Rare Disease Day including how to get involved as an exhibitor or activity provider in 2014, please contact us.



Listen to the BBC Surrey radio interview 



Watch an interview with Ehlers Danlos Support UK - filmed by Royal Holloway's Bioscience Society

 Rare disease day logo


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