The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) encourage grant applications for research on therapeutic and pathogenic approaches to the muscular dystrophies.
The muscular dystrophies—which are characterized by weakness and wasting of muscles—affect thousands of people in the United States. Though research has recently revealed much about genetic defects associated with many forms of muscular dystrophy, treatment for these diseases has not changed significantly. There is a need to learn more about the pathogenesis of the disease and ways to treat affected people.
Examples of potential research include studies to: examine genetic heterogeneity and search for additional candidate genes; examine genotype/phenotype correlations within and between families; develop improved diagnostic procedures; improve imaging techniques to better diagnose and monitor muscle disease; study pathogenic mechanisms leading from gene defects to muscular dystrophy phenotypes; clarify the role of inflammatory changes that accompany tissue degeneration; explore further development of new types of therapy, including gene transfer and gene correction; study muscle stem cells and their therapeutic possibilities; explore pharmacologic interventions; pursue the development and sharing of appropriate animal models for muscular dystrophies; study the involvement of apoptotic cell death in the process of muscle fiber degeneration; and improve therapeutic value of protein expression from transplanted myoblasts.
For more information, potential applicants should contact Dr. Giovanna Spinella, Program Director, Neurogenetics Cluster, NINDS, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2132, Bethesda, MD, 20892; telephone: (301) 5745; fax: (301) 402-1501; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a more detailed description of this program announcement, please visit the web site at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAS-01-041.html.