Monday 30th April 2012
Ex-EastEnder actor Stefan Booth has taken a break from his role in Chicago to visit a scientific research centre.
Stefan, currently on tour as Billy Flynn with the hit musical Chicago in Edinburgh, visited the Medical Research Council's Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine at the University of Edinburgh (MRC) as an ambassador for Kidney Research UK.
The actor, who played Greg Jessop in EastEnders, has been a close supporter of Kidney Research UK since losing his mum to kidney disease in 2011.
Stefan was invited by the charity to visit a project, which aims to grow patient-specific kidney cells that could revolutionise how renal disorders are treated.
Stefan, who was born in Bristol and now lives in London, said: "This research is incredibly exciting for anyone suffering from kidney failure. Transplants don't cure kidney disease but they're currently the best form of treatment we have available. The ability to grow tissue to repair damaged kidneys and maybe even replace them altogether offers real hope to the 50,000 people in the UK who are treated for kidney failure every year."
Stefan, who also had roles in The Bill and Hollyoaks and was a runner up in the first series of Dancing On Ice, said: "What Kidney Research UK now needs is more support and more funding, in order to take this project on to clinical trials."
Dr Peter Hohenstein, Kidney Research UK's lead researcher on the project, said: "While this research is still very much in its infancy, early results have been extremely encouraging. There's still a long way to go but, if we're successful, this project could completely transform the way we treat kidney disease and kidney failure."
To support the charity visit http://www.kidneyresearchuk.org.