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Friends of FSH Research, based in Kirkland, WA and the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), headquartered in Tucson, Ariz., announced the recipient of their two-year, $200,000 collaborative grant on April 1st Dr. Joel Chamberlain, a research assistant professor of medical genetics at the University of Washington is to receive the first ever grant offered through this unique partnership of these two organizations.
The grant, equally funded by both organizations, will enable the laboratory led by Dr. Chamberlain to study RNA interference as an investigative and therapeutic tool for Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy."We're delighted to be funding this cutting-edge research aimed at finding a therapy for FSH dystrophy," says Valerie Cwik, MDA Executive Vice President - Research and Medical Director. "Not only might this project identify the precise molecular cause of FSHD---which has eluded us---but it could also rapidly suggest a viable therapeutic approach to the disease.
Last fall, Friends of FSH Research and the MDA teamed up to issue a worldwide Request for Applications (RFA) for FSHD projects. The goal being to stimulate innovative FSH Dystrophy research. "Our RFA has proven to be a strong catalyst for new FSH research," notes Terry Colella, Friends of FSH Research President. "We have helped to create new momentum in the field of FSH dystrophy research and Dr. Chamberlain's work should help bring us closer to a much needed therapy or cure."
As a result of the joint RFA distributed by MDA and Friends of FSH Research another excellent project proposal was received frome Dr. Silvere van der Maarel at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands. This study will be funded by MDA independently.