Muscular Dystrophy UK is investing £1.2 million into 10 new research projects this year, bringing our total research portfolio to over £9.7m.
The projects cover every stage of research, from work in the lab to better understand conditions to developing new tools for use in clinic.
Some of this year’s research grants will investigate a pain-free replacement for painful nerve-testing methods, a new way to boost an existing treatment, and new self-management resources for all people living with muscle-wasting conditions.
MDUK’s annual grant round sees expert researchers and people living with muscle-wasting conditions select the most relevant, high-quality research to fund. The charity is now funding 54 different projects in the UK and through international partnerships.
Dr Kate Adcock, Director of Research and Innovation at Muscular Dystrophy UK, said:
“We are delighted to announce our new projects, which will help improve our understanding of conditions and advance the hunt for new treatments.
“We are incredibly proud of our record in research. Our vigorous selection process means that we make the best use of our valuable funds, and this year it has attracted new researchers into working on muscle-wasting conditions.
“Past research has laid the foundations for the most exciting treatments currently being developed, such as exon-skipping, and we look forward to seeing the outcomes from this year’s projects.”
This year’s projects
We will publish more information on each project throughout September. The grants are awarded to:
- Dr Gonzalo Blanco at the University of York who will investigate a key gene associated with myopathies (lay summary)
- Prof Henry Houlden at University College London (UCL) to look at a protein thought to be important for muscle repair as a therapeutic target for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, bolstering our multi-million investment in research grants for the condition (lay summary)
- Dr Gisèle Bonne at the Institute of Myology, Paris, through a partnership with the US charity CureCMD, who will look at why people who have the neuromuscular condition, LMNA-CMD, have different clinical symptoms (feature, lay summary)
- Prof Eric Schirmer at the University of Edinburgh to find the underlying causes of Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (lay summary)
- Dr Gita Ramdharry at UCL for a PhD studentship trialling self-management resources for people with muscle-wasting conditions (feature, lay summary)
- Prof Francesco Muntoni at UCL to help some families with congenital muscular dystrophy or myopathy receive a genetic diagnosis and better understand their condition (lay summary)
- Dr Michael Lunn at UCL to investigate how MRI could help some people with inflammatory neuropathies avoid invasive diagnostic tests (lay summary)
- Prof Andrew Blamire at Newcastle University to look at a new MRI method that could replace painful nerve tests for people with spinal muscular atrophy (feature, lay summary)
- Dr Melissa Bowerman at Keele University for a PhD studentship to develop a new treatment that could be used in combination with current genetic therapies for spinal muscular atrophy (feature, lay summary)
- Dr Laura Swan at Liverpool University to investigate an important enzyme involved in congenital muscular dystrophy and other conditions (lay summary)