Spotlight on MND


Vale John Laidlaw

MND Australia would like to offer its sincere condolences to the Laidlaw family after the recent passing of generous donor and supporter of MND research, John Laidlaw.

Since 2015, John has funded the Betty Laidlaw MND Research Grant and the Betty Laidlaw Research Prize, a magnificent total contribution of $2,000,000. The grant and subsequent prizes awarded have been critical for funding research into finding potential treatments and better understanding the causes of MND.

The grant and prize were named after Betty Laidlaw, John’s wife. Betty has been living in Melbourne with primary lateral sclerosis (PLS), a slowly progressive form of MND, for over thirty years.

John and his daughter, Melissa Duggan, came to learn from MND Australia about how a large donation could help with research, and invited Carol Birks, CEO, and Janet Nash, Executive Officer, to meet Betty in their home.

When Carol and Janet visited John and Betty, John sat at his desk and wrote a cheque for $1,000,000 that he presented to MND Australia to fund the Betty Laidlaw MND Research Grant. This grant funded research into copper malfunction in motor neurone disease: a therapeutic target for sporadic MND.

We are enormously grateful for John’s donations, and both John and Melissa’s passion and interest in making sure that funds went to high quality research to accelerate and advance understanding MND.

The first three $250,000 Betty Laidlaw MND Research Prizes funded research into:

The fourth Betty Laidlaw Research Prize will be awarded following MND Research Australia’s Research Committee meeting on 11 October 2019. 


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