1 Sep 2010

J K Rowling gives $20 million for MS clinic

2:01 pm on 1 September 2010

Harry Potter author J K Rowling has donated $20 million to set up a new clinic to carry out research into multiple sclerosis, the disease that killed her mother.

The clinic, based at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, will be named after Rowling's mother. The author says she hopes it will become a world centre for excellence in research into neurological conditions.

"I have just turned 45, the age at which my mother, Anne, died of complications related to her MS," Rowling said in a statement on Tuesday.

"I know that she would rather have had her name on this clinic than on any statue, flower garden or commemorative plaque, so this donation is on her behalf, too - and in gratitude for everything she gave me in her far-too-short life."

The donation is the largest made by the author, whose wealth is estimated at more than a billion dollars thanks to the global success of the seven Harry Potter books; it's also the biggest single donation the university has ever received.

The new centre will also look into other degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Huntingdon's disease, which like MS are progressive and incurable.