Eminent professor’s son runs half marathon in his father’s name

Published Date
Kate Cleaver
professor heathcote with son Quentin and fiancee Trish

Eminent professor, Professor Alan Eglin Heathcote Emery spent his professional life researching muscular dystrophy.

Now his son Quentin, is running the Chester half marathon in May to support Muscular Dystrophy UK’s research into the conditions his father fought to find cures for.

Quentin from Shipley in West Yorkshire, said: “As a boy, I remember being vaguely aware of how amazing he was in his field. There are few people who have a condition named after them, but he went a long way towards separating and dividing the muscular dystrophy conditions. It is now known that there are 60 but when he started there was none of this knowledge.”

Professor Emery, now 90 and living in Budleigh, is best known for having set up the Genetics department at Western General Hospital, Edinburgh in 1967. His long and outstanding career resulted in both Emery–Dreifuss muscular dystrophy and its defective protein product, emerin, being named after him.

Sixty years ago, when Muscular Dystrophy UK was established, research into muscle-wasting conditions was largely neglected, the life expectancy for boys living with Duchenne muscular dystrophy was around 14 years and attitudes towards people with disabilities were largely negative.

Today, pioneering research has led to over 150 clinical trials globally, better support and care has seen life expectancy increase and improved access means that more people with muscular dystrophy and associated conditions have greater opportunities than ever before. Individuals with Duchenne muscular dystrophy are now living into their 30s and early 40s. But there is still a long way to go.

Quentin, 53, lives in West Yorkshire. He told us: “None of my siblings followed our dad in to medicine or genetics, instead following careers in event management, accounting, journalism and training, but I’m sure we all agree that if collectively we achieve anything close to what he did individually, we will have done amazingly well.”

Support Quentin’s fundraising here


If you’d like to find out about taking on an event like this and fundraising for MDUK, please get in touch with volunteerfundraising@musculardystrophyuk.org or call our fundraising hotline on 0300 012 0172.

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