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Welcome to the John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre

“Performing world class translational research to bring diagnosis, care and therapy to people with neuromuscular disease.”


Launched in November 2014, the Centre brings together and consolidates Newcastle’s distinguished, international and world-leading record in research and care for neuromuscular diseases.

Our team based at the Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University and its associated hospitals work together towards the development and application of genomic and translational medicine to improve the health outcomes of people living with neuromuscular diseases.

As a group, we have developed a close and important link between research and clinical activities and we actively pursue new partnerships with other stakeholders such as patient organisations, regulators and pharma.

The John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre is structured around five important strands of activity – clinical care, clinical research, diagnostics, basic research and strategic partnerships and networking – but all are strongly interlinked and the work across these teams is key to our success and impact in the neuromuscular field.

We are immensely proud to have continued to build, shape and develop this Centre’s team of international experts and to be leading them now under the auspicious name of Lord Walton who first established a dedicated and integrated neuromuscular clinical and research unit at Newcastle in the 1950s.

Volker, Katie and Rita


Volker Straub
Harold Macmillan Professor of Medicine Consultant in Neuromuscular Genetics and Paediatrics

“We are delighted to announce that Professor Volker Straub has accepted the invitation to become the Interim Director for the John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre and has taken up the post with immediate effect.”

Kate Bushby
Professor of Neuromuscular Genetics Consultant Clinical Geneticist
Rita Horvath
Professor of Neurogenetics

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About John Walton

Lord Walton’s contribution to the field of muscle disease research and patient care is enormous.

He was a leading figure in the field for over 50 years and trained many of the current leaders in the neuromuscular field.

Find out more

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