MDA awarded a research grant totaling $357,465 over a period of three years to Mahasweta Girgenrath, an assistant professor in the Health Sciences Department at Boston University in Boston. The funds will help support Girgenrath’s work to find a combination therapy to treat type 1A congenital muscular dystrophy (MDC1A).
Girgenrath and colleagues plan to explore strategies designed to inhibit the inflammation and fibrosis (muscle scarring) associated with MDC1A, either alone or in combination with improved muscle regeneration.
The team will conduct their studies in the DyW mouse model, which develops a muscular dystrophy that closely matches the disease process seen in humans with MDC1A.
“We previously have shown that improving regeneration by increased activity of a growth factor called IGF1 improves muscle mass, but does not affect inflammation,” Girgenrath said. The group will now try a therapy designed to prevent inflammation in the muscles of the DyW mice, both alone and in combination with IGF1-based regeneration therapy.
“If successful,” Girgenrath said, “our results may lead to a combination therapy to fight the devastating prognosis of MDC1A.”
Funding for this MDA grant began February 1, 2012.