A University of Aberdeen geneticist who leads a team researching causes of the distressing condition clubfoot will tomorrow (June 22) be rewarded for her efforts.

Dr Zosia Miedzybrodzka is being honoured for "Excellence in Medical Research" by the children's medical research charity Sparks.

The leader of the University's Medical Genetics group will attend a prestigious tribute gala in London which aims to celebrate the achievements of medical researchers, fundraisers and other key figures who support Sparks.

Guests are expected to include television presenter Gabby Logan, doctor and osteopath Dr Lady Ann Redgrave who is married to the Olympic rowing champion Sir Steve Redgrave, and representatives of the world famous Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The clinical geneticist, who has so far received just over £400,000 worth of research funding from Sparks, said: "It is a tremendous honour to be recognised by Sparks in this way. It is a huge boost for everyone working in our research group to know that one of our main funders appreciates the work that we are doing.

"And, of course, if we did not receive money from charities like Sparks we would be unable to carry out research into conditions like clubfoot which affects around 1 to 2 babies per 1,000 born in the UK. "

In research publishing in a leading medical journal last November, clinical geneticist Dr Miedzybrodzka and epidemiologist Dr Linda Sharp showed for the first time that variation in a gene that processes folate in the body may be part of the cause of clubfoot.

They found that babies with the less common variant of the C677T variant in the gene methyltetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) are less likely to develop clubfoot.

Dr Miedzybrodzka believes the reward also recognises the work of University of Aberdeen Research Fellows Amanda Cardy and Guoqing Liu, and a large number of others who have contributed to the project over the last eight years.

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