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About Acton Medical Research

About Action Medical Research

We are the leading UK charity funding vital research to help defeat the diseases that devastate the lives of sick and disabled babies, children and young people

Funding breakthroughs

Action Medical Research has been funding medical breakthroughs for 70 years.

We have helped to beat polio, fight meningitis, prevent stillbirths and develop ultrasound scanning in pregnancy, helping to save thousands of children’s lives and change many more.

Today we continue to tackle the challenges disease and disability present by funding high quality research to save and change children’s lives and are driving forward research to help protect children in the fight against COVID-19.

Our Research

Surprisingly, medical research tackling childhood diseases is poorly funded in the UK. Action Medical Research has a critical job to do in helping fill this gap to protect children.

The prospects for finding new cures and treatments is almost within our grasp. Right now we are funding vital research projects with many more ready to go – but we simply can’t fund them all.

With your help, we’re determined to change this and make a real difference to children's lives.

Our History

The charity was founded in 1952 by Duncan Guthrie in his quest to find a cure for polio, a condition that affected the lives of many thousands of children including his own daughter, Janet.

Early research funded by the charity helped to develop the first oral polio vaccine which eradicated new cases of the disease in the UK.

Since then we’ve continued to fund vital research projects to save and change lives through medical research.

I've been involved with Action since I was nine years old. It's a brilliant cause to support, such amazing work!

Davina McCall

Action in Numbers

We are funding around 55 top quality projects, including Research Training Fellowships, at leading hospitals, universities and specialist centres across the UK.

Currently funded projects include research into COVID-19 and children, asthma, prematurity, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, leukaemia and some rare and distressing conditions.

Family with 2 children

70+ years

Celebrating 70+ years of saving and changing lives


250+ researchers

Supporting more than 250 top researchers

Piggy bank

£300 Funding

£300 can fund a pioneering research project for a day

UK Map

55 projects

Around 55 projects across the UK


Kai suffers from a serious lung disease called primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD).



Many of the research projects we support involve working directly with patients who have been affected by a disease or disability.

About our research

We fund high quality research to save and change children's lives.

Life saving research

Life saving research

We fund groundbreaking research to hep find answers. Answers that can lead to vaccinations, treatments and cures. Answers that save lives.

Breakthrough discoveries

Breakthrough discoveries

For more than 65 years we've been saving and changing lives through medical research and have spent over £125m funding some amazing breakthroughs.

Working across the UK

Working across the UK

We have around £11m invested in the work of more than 230 top researchers working on around 60 projects across the UK


Support our vital research

We would love to send you information about our research and how you can help us to save and change children’s lives through fundraising, events and volunteering opportunities.