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$1.7M to study rare but devastating muscular dystrophies

December 18, 2013

Two multinational teams, one including Dr. Michael Rudnicki and a second with Dr. Jeffrey Dilworth, were awarded two of 12 highly competitive international E-Rare grants for the study of rare diseases. Dr. Rudnicki is leading a team awarded $862,000 for preclinical studies to investigate the effectiveness of delivering a protein called Wnt7a systemically for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Dr. Rudnicki’s lab has previously shown that directly injecting this protein into muscle tissue can bolster muscle strength and regeneration. Dr. Dilworth’s team will tackle Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), the most prevalent hereditary muscular dystrophy affecting adults and children. They received $878,000 to explore how a genetic factor called DBE-T activates genes associated with the disease and could possibly be used as a target for developing new therapies. Muscular Dystrophy Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research are each contributing more than $380,000 toward the two Canadian teams.

About the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) is the research arm of The Ottawa Hospital and is an affiliated institute of the University of Ottawa, closely associated with the university’s Faculties of Medicine and Health Sciences. OHRI includes more than 1,700 scientists, clinical investigators, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff conducting research to improve the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disease. www.ohri.ca 

Media contact
Jennifer Ganton
Director, Communications and Public Relations
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
613-798-5555 x 73325
613-614-5253 (cell)
jganton@ohri.ca