$1.35M grant helps researchers investigate how to get disoriented muscle stem cells back on track

June 8, 2016

Dr. Michael Rudnicki has received $1.35M US from the National Institutes of Health to continue his research into the biological mechanisms behind Duchenne muscular dystrophy. His research team recently made the surprising discovery that the lethal muscle-wasting disease directly affects muscle stem cells. Patients with this disease lack the dystrophin protein, and without this protein muscle stem cells are unable to orient themselves relative to the muscle fibre. This means they cannot divide properly and generate enough precursor cells to properly repair the damaged muscle. The new grant will help the team delve into the molecular mechanisms behind this phenomenon. They will also investigate ways to restore proper cell division in these stem cells, which could potentially lead to new therapies. The disease affects approximately one in 3,600 boys, and leads to death by the second or third decade of life.

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