UW News

October 24, 2003

UW to have one of three new centers for muscular dystrophy research

The UW has been named one of three new cooperative centers in the nation for research on muscular dystrophies, and will receive $6.9 million over five years from the National Institutes of Health to fund that research. The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) will match the grant with an additional $1.6 million.

Muscular dystrophies (MD) are related genetic diseases resulting in muscle weakness and wasting. Grant recipient Dr. Jeffrey Chamberlain, professor of neurology, medicine, and biochemistry at the UW, has led research efforts into understanding and developing treatments for MD.

His research group will use the NIH grant to develop gene therapies for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, use animal models to help develop human trials for MD gene therapy, and conduct translational studies on other types of MD to promote the development of gene therapies.

Chamberlain’s group includes Drs. Stephen Hauschka, professor of biochemistry; Stephen Tapscott, professor of neurology and full member at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC); Thomas Bird, professor of neurology; Stanley Froehner, professor and chair of physiology and biophysics; and Marie-Terese Little, staff scientist at FHCRC.

The other two centers are at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Rochester in New York.