Elma Reid bursary presented to student

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The 2011 Elma Reid Bursary has been awarded to third-year University of Dundee medical student Abdulla Ibrahim, who will receive a certificate marking his achievements during a symposium in Dundee today (Wednesday).

The bursary was made possible by former Forfar Academy English teacher Elma from Inverarity, who raised over £20,000 to increase awareness of inherited cancers through education or research before she died in September 2009. The bursary allows one medical student from the University with an interest in research to spend the summer studying the causes of familial cancer each year.

Abdulla (23), originally from Cardiff, is investigating new ways of identifying which genes have been involved in causing a cancer, and whether these have implications for other family members. He will present the findings of his summer research work at a symposium held at the Department of Clinical Genetics, Clinical Research Centre, today and will meet with Eliane Reid, Elma’s daughter and one of the trustees of the fund, who will present the award and congratulate Abdulla on his achievement.

Elma’s fund-raising began after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2006; she met with representatives of the Biomedical Research Institute, Ninewells Cancer Campaign and the clinical genetics and oncology departments at Ninewells. The group are keen to advance understanding of inherited cancers — of particular importance to Elma, as both her mother and grandmother had also died of cancer.

Eliane said: “I am so grateful that we are able to provide support for another year of funding which will advance our awareness and understanding of inherited cancers and especially ovarian. Women are diagnosed with this cancer every day and any small part we can play to helping people living with cancer, or on prevention of cancer, is vital. My Mum could not have achieved so much fund raising on her own, and I know that she would want me to continue to thank and remember those who were equally determined to help her raise awareness and fundraise in her lifetime and since. We are really grateful for all the clinical and research work, which has given us the time and opportunity to use these resources wisely.”