A recently published study from Sweden reported impaired facial recognition in people with DM1 and indicated that there are brain differences that affect how faces are perceived and stored by people with DM1.
The field of myotonic dystrophy (DM) research has advanced significantly since the disease was first described by Hans Steinert in 1909. The specific identification of the genetic mutations causing DM1 and DM2 were each discovered in the last 20 years, and science and discovery accelerated rapidly beginning in the mid-2000s. People living with DM are now looking forward to the launch of the first human trials for DM treatments, and interest from the pharmaceutical sector in myotonic dystrophy as an area for investigation and investment has increased tremendously in the past five years, thanks in large part to outstanding work conducted by the academic research community focused on myotonic dystrophy.
For more information on recent DM research advances, click here to see medical and research articles in the News and Updates section of the website, or click here to see a history of key DM research advances since 1901.
The 7th Annual Fund-A-Fellow (FAF) Request for Applications
Starting in May, 2014, MDF will be accepting applications for its Fund-a-Fellow postdoctoral grant program. The Fund-a-Fellow program was designed to help MDF achieve its mission of Care and a Cure by attracting new researchers to the DM field, and increasing the knowledge and science available regarding myotonic dystrophy.
Scientific research endeavors eligible for fellowship support include those focused on molecular biology and basic science in DM research, as well as care, treatment and support of the DM patient and the patient's family. MDF grants are $100,000 each, disbursed over two years, and are awarded to postdoctoral students with doctoral degrees from accredited U.S. or international institutions.
Past MDF Grant Awards
In January 2014, MDF awarded two $100,000 postdoctoral research fellowships, each providing two years of support at $50,000 per fellowship per year, through the Foundation's Fund-A-Fellow program. These awards support new and innovative studies relevant to the pathogenesis of DM, disease progression, best practices in clinical management of the disorder, and therapeutic and diagnostic development for myotonic dystrophy. Learn more about our current and past grant recipients.
In 2012, MDF awarded a multi-year grant to support the creation of the first Myotonic Dystrophy Clinical Research Network (DMCRN), a collaborative effort led by Dr. Charles Thornton of the University of Rochester Medical Center. The DMCRN, which will launch in 2014, will be comprised of five university-based centers with expertise in DM research.
Click here to learn more about previous recipients and their innovative DM research.
A key goal of the Myotonic Dystrophy Family Registry (MDFR) is to aid academic, biotech, pharma and other researchers in developing new, effective treatments for myotonic dystrophy. By joining the Registry, researchers and other professionals can access de-identified aggregate data to identify target populations for study planning or recruitment for research studies and clinical trials.
Registering a profile also provides access to explore the database and use the Registry’s data analysis and report capabilities to learn more about DM and the community of people living with it. The registry coordinator is also available to review draft recruitment notices and advertisements on behalf of the myotonic dystrophy community to offer feedback regarding content and language. Click here to go to the MDFR website, learn more and sign up.