Congenital Muscular Dystrophy (CMD)

$13.6 Million in New MDA Grants Promote Understanding, Treatment of Neuromuscular Diseases

The Muscular Dystrophy Association has awarded 44 new grants totaling $13.6 million to advance the understanding and treatment of neuromuscular diseases. The new grants, most of which took effect Feb. 1, encompass a range of diseases covered by MDA’s research program, and they support innovative approaches to basic research and new drug development.

In addition to addressing 16 specific neuromuscular diseases under MDA’s umbrella, the grants also fund research into muscular dystrophy in general, and research into muscle physiology related to neuromuscular disease.

CMD, LGMD — Sebahattin Cirak, M.D.

Sebahattin Cirak, pending assistant professor at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., was awarded an MDA development grant totaling $180,000 over a period of three years to hunt for elusive genes that cause congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD) and limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD).

BMD, DMD — Linda Baum, M.D., Ph.D.

Linda Baum, professor and vice chair of pathology and laboratory medicine at the Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, was awarded an MDA research grant totaling $405,000 over a period of three years to study molecules on the muscle surface that regulate important aspects of cellular communication and survival.

Nationwide Children’s Podcast Explores the Congenital Muscular Dystrophies

Editor's note (Oct. 19, 2012): This story was updated to reflect the fact that Kevin Flanigan co-directs the MDA Clinic at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

MDA Commits $10.7 Million to Neuromuscular Disease Research

The Muscular Dystrophy Association has awarded 33 new grants totaling $10,684,481 to fund research projects focused on uncovering the causes of, and developing therapies for, neuromuscular disease.

MDA's Board of Directors reviewed and approved the new grants based on recommendations from the Association's Scientific and Medical Advisory Committees, and the grants took effect Aug. 1.

CMD — Madhuri Hegde, Ph.D.

Madhuri Hegde, associate professor and scientific director at Emory Genetics Laboratory, Emory University in Atlanta, was awarded an MDA research grant totaling $262,928 over two years to identify genes that, when mutated, cause congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD).

A significant number of CMD-associated genes have been identified, but in approximately 30 to 40 percent of occurrences of the disease the causative gene remains unknown.

CMD — Kevin Campbell, Ph.D.

MDA awarded a research grant totaling $375,000 over three years to Kevin Campbell, professor of neurology and internal medicine at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. The funds will help support Campbell's study of a process called protein O-mannosylation in a mouse model of congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD).

CMD/LGMD — Susan Brown, Ph.D.

Susan Brown, a reader (equivalent to associate professor) in translational medicine at the Royal Veterinary College in London, has been awarded an MDA grant totaling $356,838 over three years. The grant will help support Brown's research on muscular dystrophies related to mutations in the gene for fukutin-related protein (FKRP).

CMD — Sonja Nowotschin, Ph.D.

Sonja Nowotschin, a postdoctoral research fellow in the developmental biology department at the Sloan-Kettering Institute in New York, has been awarded an MDA development grant totaling $163,638 over three years. (Development grants are MDA's mechanism for furthering the career development of promising young researchers.)

CMD — Shireen Lamande, Ph.D.

MDA has awarded a research grant totaling $251,596 over two years to Shireen Lamande, senior research fellow and group leader for muscular dystrophy research and musculoskeletal disorders at Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Parkville, Victoria, Australia. The new funds will help support Lamande’s research into the identification of new genes responsible for two types of congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD), Bethlem myopathy and Ullrich congenital muscular dystrophy.