MDA has awarded a research grant totaling $474,278 over three years to Terence Partridge, a professor of pediatrics at George Washington University Medical School and Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The award will help support Partridge's work to improve the usefulness of the standard mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), the so-called "mdx" mouse.
The mdx mouse lacks dystrophin, the protein that's missing in people with DMD and only partially functional in people with the related disease Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD).
The muscular dystrophy developed by the mdx mouse "closely resembles DMD in some respects," Partridge said, "but differs in others. In order to make the best use of this valuable animal model, we need to fully understand the extent of the similarities and differences, so that we can take them into account when applying information gathered from the mouse to the situation in man."
Partridge and colleagues will develop reliable methods for making accurate and reproducible measurements of the rates of growth, death and regeneration of muscle taking place at different times in the mdx mouse.
"Nowadays, funding from MDA is especially important to those of us working on the interface between science and translational research," Partridge said. "MDA provides for the conduct of research that is fundamental in nature but is aimed at providing information that is directly relevant to the understanding of the disease processes or to the development of therapeutic agents to moderate those disease processes."
Funding for this MDA grant began August 1, 2011.