MDA Gives More Than $17 Million to Research Neuromuscular Diseases!

The organization has invested more than $1B to research in 70 years

The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) has given more than $17 million to projects that aim to improve research on muscular dystrophy (MD) and other neuromuscular diseases and find new ways to treat them.

The money comes on top of the more than $1 billion that the MDA has already spent on research.

“The Muscular Dystrophy Association has always been at the forefront of finding new ways to help people with neuromuscular diseases. “We have spent more than $1 billion on research over the past 70+ years, which is a big reason why patients now live longer and more independent lives,” MDA’s president and CEO, Donald S. Wood, PhD, said in a press release. “We are happy to give an extra $17 million during this grant cycle to keep funding research that will lead to more effective treatments and cures for neuromuscular diseases.”


Now, MDA has given 70 grants to researchers who are looking into the causes of neuromuscular diseases and possible treatment targets.

Sharon Hesterlee, PhD, the MDA’s chief research officer, said, “The Muscular Dystrophy Association continues to fund the most innovative research that will lead to cures for a wide range of neuromuscular diseases.” “Our investment has already paid off with the first effective treatments for neuromuscular diseases, and these grantees are pushing the limits even further in diseases that were once thought to be incurable.”

Some of the scientists and research projects in this funding cycle include:

  • To further their clinical trial network for some forms of MD, including facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, Drs. Jeffrey Statland (University of Kansas Medical Center), Nicholas Johnson (Virginia Commonwealth University), Rabi Tawil (University of Rochester) and Charles Thornton (University of Rochester) have collaborated.
  • University of Minnesota assistant professor Forum Kamdar, MD, PhD, is assessing the requirements of medical patients with heart conditions.
  • Genetic therapeutics for Duchenne and LAMA2 muscular dystrophy are now being developed by a team led by Tejvir Khurana, MD, PhD, professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and Markus Ruegg, PhD, professor at the University of Basel, Switzerland.
MDA Awards $17m+ to Neuromuscular Disease
MDA Awards $17m+ to Neuromuscular Disease
  • Dr Michael Rudnicki, a researcher at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, is trying to develop stem cell-based treatments for multiple sclerosis.
  • the potential benefit in Duchenne of treatments already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for other indications is being investigated by Xuhui Liu, MD, professor at the University of California, San Francisco; George Rodney, PhD, associate professor at Baylor College of Medicine; and Fabio Rossi, MD, PhD, professor at the University of British Columbia.
  • In addition to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, spinal muscular atrophy, and myasthenia gravis, the awards supported research into a variety of other neuromuscular disorders.

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