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Rare Disease Day is an annual awareness day that aims to educate and raise awareness for the 400 million people worldwide who live with a rare disease.

Institute of Developmental and Regenerative Medicine building illuminated in the colours of Rare Disease Day

The Oxford-Harrington Rare Disease Centre, a partnership with the Harrington Discovery Institute, brings together the University’s hundreds of researchers and clinical scientists with interests in rare disease research and therapeutics development.

Last week, on 28 February, the research and clinical activities of the Medical Sciences Division, the Oxford Biomedical Research Centre and Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust were highlighted in a short film as part of a series with Genetic Alliance UK, a national charity that brings together an alliance of over 200 patient organisations representing those affected by genetic diseases. The film shows how progress in genomics drives rare disease research and the development of therapeutics, which are then made available to patients in clinical trials in Oxford.

Watch the film 'University of Oxford – Together Caring for Rare Disease 2023'

The Rare Disease Centre hosted its annual webinar, featuring progress in the translational research efforts it supports in Oxford, presented by Prof. Angela Russell and highlighting the drug development support she has had from the Harrington Discovery Institute.

View the 2023 Rare Disease Day Webinar: Advancing Novel Therapies in Rare Diseases

A Rare Disease Day supplement in The Guardian featured two articles on the Oxford-Harrington Rare Disease Centre, highlighting developments in therapeutics and focussing on the perspectives of rare disease patients and their families.

The Institute of Developmental and Regenerative Medicine (IDRM) was illuminated in the colours of Rare Disease Day, forming part of a global network of buildings and landmarks lit up in this way to recognize the day.

Prof. Matthew Wood, Director of the Rare Disease Centre, said “Rare Disease Day is an opportunity for us to engage with the global rare disease community and share our vision of accelerating rare disease drug development in partnership with the Harrington Discovery Institute, with the support of the families and patients whose lives we are driven to improve”.

Visit the Oxford Harrington Rare Disease Centre website for more information on rare disease research and how to get involved