Graduate gives to drug safety centre in memory of his mother

MRCdonation-1wRonnie Austin with his mother, Eva

A graduate of the University of Liverpool made a generous donation to the MRC Centre for Drug Safety in memory of his mother.

Law graduate Ronald (Ronnie) Austin and his wife Sabine have made the donation in memory of Ronnie’s mother Eva who, after fleeing the Nazis in Danzig (now Gdansk) in 1939 and a long life in the UK, died a lively and active 90-year-old from a rare reaction to medication given for a grazed arm.

Travel awards for early career researchers

The Eva and Herbert Austin Travel Bursary for the Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Drug Safety Science will be used to provide travel awards for early career researchers to travel to further their learning at other institutes and allow them to take advantage of scientific conferences, advanced training and collaboration with leading overseas academics.

Ronnie is a graduate (LLB (Hons) 1967). He has been based in Paris since 1970 where he was a partner for over 35 years in Clifford Chance and where he is currently Senior Advisor to the International Real Estate Group and Moderator, Global Mediation Group.

”The Alumni Relations Team hit the bull’s eye in view of what caused my mother’s death when it informed me of the MRC Centre for Drug Safety”
He said: “I wanted to continue making a meaningful donation to the University of Liverpool whose teaching staff gave me such a good start to my professional career.

“The Alumni Relations Team hit the bull’s eye in view of what caused my mother’s death when it informed me of the MRC Centre for Drug Safety. My mother’s life reflected the troubled 20th Century in Europe. Having had staff at home, she was able to escape to the United Kingdom on a ‘domestic visa’ to work as a maid herself in Scotland.

“Her resilience and resourcefulness, an inspiration to my sister, Carole and me, led her to become a company director and then, in her late 60s after my father Herbert died, to manage the computer at her local Citizen’s Advice Bureau in London.”

Ronnie’s mother was given Cefuroxime after a fall in Istanbul where she cut and badly grazed her arm. She died some months later of Cerfuroxime Induced Hepatitis. It is estimated that the risk of this condition occurring is one in 10,000.

Adverse drug reactions

Adverse drug reactions result in one in 15 hospital admissions and cost the NHS in excess of £650 million every year. They are also a significant cause of drug attrition for the pharmaceutical industry.

The University’s MRC Centre for Drug Safety addresses these problems by gaining an understanding of the fundamental mechanisms that drive adverse drug reactions, to improve patient care.

Professor Kevin Park, Head of the Centre said: “I am always very touched by the personal stories of the people we come into contact with.  To receive this gift is very humbling and will let us continue our work to reduce the impact of reactions to drugs.”

To find out more about supporting students and researchers at the University of Liverpool, visit the Supporters website.


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