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About us

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

Since we began in 1952, Action Medical Research has been funding medical breakthroughs to help save and change the lives of babies and children.

It all started with the first polio vaccines in the UK, later helping to develop the use of ultrasound in pregnancy and the rubella vaccine - helping to save thousands of children’s lives and change many more.

We recently launched our flagship campaign, Born Too Soon, which shines a spotlight on premature birth and the devastation it causes. Each year in the UK over 1,000 babies die due to premature birth and globally, it is the biggest killer of children under 5.

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 more than 60 top quality projects, including Research Training Fellowships, at leading hospitals, universities and specialist centres across the UK.

Currently funded projects include research into premature birth, cerebral palsy, childhood infections, juvenile arthritis, leukaemia and some rare and distressing conditions.

65+ years

Celebrating 65+ years of saving and changing lives

260+ researchers

Supporting more than 260 top researchers

£280 funding

£280 can fund a pioneering research project for a day

16 new projects

16 new projects funded in the past year

60+ projects

More than 60 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 the very best research most likely to make a difference to the live of sick babies, children and young people.

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

For more than 65 years we've been saving and changing lives through medical research and have spent over 120m funding some amazing breakthroughs.

Working across the UK

We have over £11m invested in the work of more than 260 top researchers working on over 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.