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Today the University of Washington announced that it received four years of funding for a Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Center from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Seattle Wellstone Center will conduct research projects in the areas of Duchenne muscular dystrophy and facioscapulohumeral dystrophy (FSHD). It will also use its resources to enhance muscular dystrophy research in the Seattle area and increase communication among muscular dystrophy researchers in Washington State and the northwestern states. Dr. Jeffrey Chamberlain at the University of Washington will serve as the Director and Dr. Stephen Tapscott at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center will serve as the Co-director. One of the first clinical studies initiated by the Center will be a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) study of individuals with FSHD led by Dr. Dennis Shaw and Dr. Leo Wang at the University of Washington with the combined participation of Dr. Rabi Tawil at the University of Rochester. Funding from the Friends of FSH Research supported the preliminary studies for the FSHD component of the application to NIH.
These Centers promote collaborative basic, translational and clinical research and provide important resources that can be used by the national muscular dystrophy research communities. The centers also provide an outstanding environment for the training and career development of new scientists electing to pursue careers conducting research in high priority areas of muscular dystrophy. Center investigators are expected to participate in important community outreach and education efforts to increase awareness and convey the importance and implications of their research activities to the general public.
See also: MDCRCs. Note that as of publication the page had not been updated with this new Wellstone site.