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American Academy of Neurology, American Brain Foundation and Muscular Dystrophy Association Offer New Research Award

CHICAGO, July 7, 2016 -  The American Academy of Neurology (AAN), the American Brain Foundation and the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) have announced a new Clinical Research Training Fellowship in muscular dystrophy for 2017. 

The two-year award will provide $130,000, including a $10,000 per year stipend for tuition to support education and research-related costs. The recipient will be announced at the 2017 AAN Annual Meeting in Boston.

This is the AAN and American Brain Foundation’s first fellowship with the MDA, and the AAN’s first fellowship specifically focused on the muscular dystrophies and the other neuromuscular disorders, which are the focus of the MDA.

“Since awarding the first research grant in 1993, the AAN has supported many investigators with a research focus on neuromuscular diseases. However, this is the first award specifically designated for the muscular dystrophies,” said Robert Griggs, MD, FAAN, chair of the American Brain Foundation Research Advisory Committee, who was instrumental in bringing the three organizations together.

Recognizing the critical need for neurology research, the AAN Research Program has dedicated its grant-making efforts to further the commitment to make a profound difference in the lives of researchers and patients.

“This new award represents a commitment of the AAN to finding the cure for muscular dystrophy by providing critical support to a neurologist dedicated to the advancement of neurological research,” added Aleksandar Videnovic, MD, MSc, FAAN, chair of the AAN work group on the award. “This partnership is timely because it coincides with the launch of the AAN’s 2017 Research Program that includes a comprehensive portfolio of research opportunities in the field of neurology and neuroscience.”

“We are honored to partner with the AAN and the American Brain Foundation to offer a new clinical training fellowship in muscular dystrophy,” said Valerie A. Cwik, MD, MDA executive vice president and medical and scientific officer. “This work is part of the MDA’s commitment to fund the best and brightest in muscular dystrophy research and to help expedite the discovery of safe and effective treatments for our families who desperately need them.”

The AAN awards are the first step to a broader base of support, and the majority of AAN award recipients have gone on to receive research funding from the National Institutes of Health.

Applications for most awards will be accepted until October 1, 2016, and the fellowships will begin July 1, 2017. To learn more about available AAN Research Program awards or to apply, visit

About the American Academy of Neurology
The American Academy of Neurology, the world’s largest association of 30,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, concussion, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

About the American Brain Foundation
The American Brain Foundation, founded by the American Academy of Neurology, supports crucial research and education to discover causes, improved treatments, and cures for brain and other nervous system diseases. Learn more at, or find the Foundation on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

About the Muscular Dystrophy Association
MDA is leading the fight to free individuals—and the families who love them—from the harm of muscular dystrophy, ALS and related muscle-debilitating diseases that take away physical strength, independence and life. We use our collective strength to help kids and adults live longer and grow stronger by finding research breakthroughs across diseases; caring for individuals from day one; and empowering families with services and support in hometowns across America. Learn how you can fund cures, find care and champion the cause at

MDA VP, Public Relations and Community Programs
Roxan Olivas
520.954.1634 |