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The aim of the society is to foster the study of inherited
metabolic disorders and related topics.


launch of new book october 2020

Sheila - Unlocking the treatmeny for PKU
By Anne Green

‘This book movingly tells the story of a family and their contribution to the history of PKU’; Professor Dame Sally Davies, Master of Trinity College Cambridge, UK.

‘Birmingham can be proud of the part it has played in the history of global health’; Professor Sir Muir Gray, University of Oxford, UK.

This new book tells the remarkable story of Sheila and her important legacy - the introduction of newborn screening and worldwide treatment for Phenylketonuria (PKU). The work was carried out in 1951 in Birmingham, UK by three pioneering doctors; Evelyn Hickmans a biochemist, physician John Gerrard and Horst Bickel, a visiting doctor from Germany.

At two years of age Sheila Jones was diagnosed with PKU at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. With no treatment available, her mother persevered until she obtained help from these three doctors. Together they worked tirelessly in the hospital laboratory to prepare a special formula for Sheila making her the first person in the world to receive dietary treatment for PKU.

Until now, little has been known about the life of Sheila and her family, and the hardships and sacrifices they endured in post-war Birmingham.  It is a remarkable story of a brave little girl, her brothers, and her courageous and tenacious mother. This is Sheila’s story until her death in Birmingham in 1999.

The author: ‘In 1971, twenty years after Sheila was diagnosed, newly qualified clinical biochemist, Anne Green, began her scientific career at the same hospital where Sheila was first treated. Since then Anne’s career and Sheila’s story intertwined which led to Anne’s desire to find out more about Sheila’s life. This book is the fulfilment of a career-long interest in PKU and newborn screening’.

Published by Brewin Books ISBN 978-1-85858-714-1

All proceeds from the book will be for the Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity

Cost £12.95 excluding any postage and packing costs

The book is available to order worldwide.

To listen to Anne chatting about the book there is a podcast.

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