CCD – Montserrat Samso, Ph.D.

CCD - Montserrat Samso, Ph.D.
Montserrat Samso is working to increase basic understanding of the function of calcium channel ryanodine receptor (RyR1), a protein important for contraction of the voluntary muscles, and test the ability of two potential therapeutics to return defective receptors to healthy performance.

Montserrat Samso, assistant professor in the department of physiology at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, was awarded an MDA research grant totaling $300,000 over three years to generate a crystal structure of the ryanodine receptor (RyR1), an intracellular calcium channel, at high resolution and in different conformational states, with and without disease-causing mutations, to allow a better understanding of its function and role in central core disease (CCD). Samso aims to increase the basic understanding of a receptor critical for normal muscle function and provide the basis for rational structure-based design of small molecules aimed at counteracting the CCD-causing mutations that destabilize it.

Funding for this MDA research grant began Aug. 1, 2015.