Throughout 2017 MDA awarded more than $10 million worth of MDA grants to help dedicated researchers and scientists learn more about neuromuscular diseases in the hopes of finding treatments and one day a cure. One of the many diseases we are determined to find treatments for is myotonic dystrophy (DM) and during 2017 we awarded five MDA research grants and one clinical research training fellowship to promising researchers in the field. Learn more about this research below.
Johanna Hamel, a neurologist at the University of Rochester in New York, was awarded a clinical research training fellowship for her work in comparative studies of RNA toxicity in DM. The two-year award, co-sponsored by the American Academy of Neurology and the American Brain Foundation, will provide a total of $130,000, including a $10,000-per-year stipend for tuition, to support Hamel’s work to shed light on the molecular processes that drive DM.
Araya Puwanant, assistant professor in the department of neurology at the University of Pittsburgh, was awarded an MDA research grant totaling $298,852 over three years to try to facilitate therapy development by identifying practical and reliable endpoints in DM.
Maurice Swanson, professor in the department of molecular genetics and microbiology at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville, was awarded an MDA research grant totaling $300,000 over a period of three years to generate new research models for DM and use them to test new therapeutic strategies.
Thurman Wheeler, assistant professor in the department of neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, was awarded an MDA research grant totaling $330,000 over three years to develop biomarkers for DM and other muscle disorders.
Andrew Berglund, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Florida in Gainesville, received an MDA research grant totaling $300,000 over three years to develop a therapeutic strategy for both DM1 and DM2.
Auinash Kalsotra, assistant professor and Beckman Fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was awarded an MDA research grant totaling $300,000 over three years to shed light on how defects develop in the heart in DM1.
Learn more about MDA’s Research Grants.