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Department hosts Thalidomide seminar

Posted on 29 September 2016

The historical and contemporary perspectives around the legacy of Thalidomide will be discussed at a seminar hosted by the Department of Health Sciences this week.

Following the success of a screening earlier this year of the UK premiere of 50 Years of Shame (50 Años de Vergüenza), the story of Grünenthal the pharmaceutical company that created and sold the drug, the seminar brings together many interested in the Thalidomide story.

It will be chaired by the Head of Department, Professor Karl Atkin, and others taking part include:

Dr Julie Parle (Honorary) Associate Professor in History and UK Thalidomide Survivor, from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and Dr Shadi Afarin Ghassemi Jahani, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and PhD Student from Department of Orthopaedics, Institute of Clinical Sciences, University of Gothenburg.

The seminar also includes representatives from the Thalidomide Society and Thalidomide Trust, as well as Geoff Adams-Spink, Deputy Chair of European Dysmelia Reference Information Centre and UK Thalidomide survivor.

Liz Newbronner, PhD student from the Department of Health Sciences said: “Thalidomide is often seen as a historical tragedy and the drug certainly has a fascinating but dark history. However, it is also a contemporary disability issue because many Thalidomide survivors are experiencing growing health problems as they age. There is a great deal we can learn from their experiences and from the history of the drug, and that is very much the focus of the seminar.”