Les became a full-time artist at the age of 50. Unable to hold a paintbrush, he relied on his acclaimed "drip method" of painting. By dripping and pouring pools of different colors onto a canvas and maneuvering it with his hands, Les produced amazing patterns and dynamic images. This painting was donated to the MDA Art Collection in October of 2012 by Mr. & Mrs. John Victor whose family knew Les. It is displayed next to Les' painting "Mystical Peaks".
In its summer 2013 round of research grant awards, the Muscular Dystrophy Association aims to catalyze research progress in a dozen neuromuscular diseases, with an eye toward applying that knowledge to related muscle diseases, as well.
“A large number of our grants are investigating new therapeutic technologies,” notes Jane Larkindale, MDA's vice president of research. “These are 'platform' technologies, where successes can be transferred well beyond the specific disease in which they are developed and tested.”
Peter Hiesinger, associate professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, was awarded an MDA research grant totaling $300,000 over a period of three years to investigate the causes of type 2B Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT2B).
Charlotte Sumner, associate professor of neurology and neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md., was awarded an MDA research grant totaling $300,000 over a period of three years to study the effects of the gene that causes one form of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT).
Kleopas Kleopa, professor at the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics in Nicosia, Cyprus, was awarded an MDA research grant totaling $280,945 over a period of three years to develop gene therapy in a mouse model of X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT).
An MDA-supported trial of high-dose ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in the type 1A form of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) (CMT1A) did not find a benefit for this treatment, although it appeared safe and was generally well-tolerated. There were no serious adverse events judged to be related to the study drug.
Turning neuromuscular disease research into treatments as quickly and effectively as possible was the overarching theme of dozens of formal presentations, nearly 200 scientific posters, and countless informal conversations at the MDA Scientific Conference, April 21-24.
A palpable sense of excitement pervaded the sold-out event thanks to the unprecedented number of experimental treatments in clinical trials for neuromuscular diseases, and the unique opportunity the conference provided for information-sharing and collaboration among scientific professionals from many disciplines.
The Muscular Dystrophy Association’s annual conference being held in Washington, D.C., on April 21-24, 2013, is centered on the theme Therapy Development for Neuromuscular Diseases: Translating Hope into Promise.