Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling has donated $19 million (£15.3 million) to fund scientists researching multiple sclerosis (MS) – the disease that killed her mother.
The author helped establish the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic at Scotland’s University of Edinburgh with a $12.3 million (£10 million) donation in 2010, and has now gifted even more money to fund new facilities and research.
The clinic is named after her mother, who died aged 45 from complications related to the disease. Research into other brain diseases, including motor neurone disease (MND), Parkinson’s and other types of dementia, is also carried out there.
Speaking about her hopes for the centre, Rowling told the BBC: “When the Anne Rowling Clinic was first founded, none of us could have predicted the incredible progress that would be made in the field of regenerative neurology, with the clinic leading the charge.
“It’s a matter of great pride for me that the clinic has combined these lofty ambitions with practical, on the ground support and care for people with MS, regardless of stage and type; I’ve heard at first-hand what a difference this support can make.”
She also said she hoped the centre’s research would result in a “step-change” in treatment of brain diseases.
Rowling hails from Edinburgh, and penned the first Harry Potter book in a cafe in the city. The stories about a boy wizard have earned her an estimated fortune of $920 million (£750 million), having been adapted into a blockbuster film franchise and stage play.