MDA awarded a grant totaling $339,561 to Richard Cripps, professor and chair of biology at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, for research into the role of the Trim32 gene in type 2H limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD).
The Trim32 gene carries instructions for the important Trim32 protein, required by muscle cells at the right times and in the necessary amounts for muscles to remain healthy and stable.
Cripps and colleagues currently are working to establish a model system in which to study the fruit fly version of Trim32.
"Our research will address fundamental questions about how this gene and its protein specifically behave in both the healthy and muscular dystrophy disease states of muscle," Cripps said. "Finding the answers to these questions will help researchers find critical points of intersection for the future treatment of this form of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy."
In experiments involving the fruit fly model, the team aims to identify the roles and behavior of Trim32 in muscles, including the structures it forms, the role these structures play in tissue stability, and interaction between the Trim32 protein and any other proteins.
"Having been funded by MDA off and on since I was a postdoctoral fellow in 1991-1992, I can deeply appreciate the support that MDA provides to scientists and fellows," Cripps said. "There is a greater willingness in MDA to take a chance on research that is of a higher risk, and the value of this approach has been borne out by the many achievements that MDA funding brings."
Funding for this MDA grant began August 1, 2010.