Cure CMD Announces 2020 Research Grant Recipients

Updated: Feb 18, 2021

Funding Continues in a Challenging Year



Lakewood, CA. August 19, 2020 -- Cure CMD is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2020 Grant Awards, which will provide each project $50,000 in funding to support the advancement of research in congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD). Over 12 years, Cure CMD has supported more than $3M in research, making a significant impact in the field of CMD research. While the funding challenges associated with COVID-19 remain quite real, Cure CMD is committed to prioritizing the continuation of research, even in uncertain times.


Grants have been awarded in five subtypes: Dystroglycanopathy, Collagen VI, LAMA2, LMNA, and SELENON (SEPN1). The projects range from a study in mouse models, to new projects in gene therapy, to an extended grant focused on genetic modifiers. A full list of grants is below.

“The process was extremely competitive this year,” says Cure CMD’s Scientific Director, Dr. Gustavo Dziewczapolski. “In previous cycles we have had perhaps a dozen applicants. This year, we received a record-breaking 30 applications, which is thrilling because it indicates an expanded interest in CMD research -- something we at Cure CMD have continued to cultivate over the last decade.


“Two of the grant awards are for researchers collaborating from different institutions. Collaborations like these are critically important in rare disorders like CMD, to ensure that the best minds are making progress toward treatments, regardless of where they are based,” remarks Dr. Dziewczapolski.


Rachel Alvarez, Cure CMD Executive Director, shares Dr. Dziewczapolski’s excitement. “Despite the uncertain times we are living in with COVID19, our Board of Directors and leadership are committed to prioritizing grant awards and continuing the push toward clinical trials for all CMD subtypes,” she comments. “We exist for two reasons: to advance research in CMD, and to support affected individuals and families with tools and education to improve their quality of life. Funding research serves our mission and ultimate goal to find treatments.”


While institutional grants and major donor gifts have provided funding to cover a significant portion of Cure CMD’s general operations and specific project funding for the next 15 months, this particular grant cycle was made possible by contributions from hundreds of individuals in the CMD community. We are also incredibly grateful for our 12-year partnership with Irish foundation, SAM (Struggle Against Muscular Dystrophy), who made funding a second LAMA2 grant possible this year.


ABOUT CURE CMD

Cure CMD was founded in 2008 to advance research for treatments and a cure for congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD) and, through engagement and support of the affected community, to improve the lives of those living with CMD. To date, the organization has supported more than $3 million in research, launched an international patient registry with more than 3,000 affected individuals from 86 countries, assisted with genetic diagnosis, and connected more than 2,800 affected individuals and their families to a supportive, helpful community.

 

FULL LIST OF AWARDED GRANTS, CURE CMD GRANT CYCLE 2020-2022

Learn more about Cure CMD's research strategy and funding portfolio


Dystroglycanopathy

Principal Investigator: Kevin Wright

Institution: Oregon Health & Science University

Title: “Synaptic defects in a mouse model of dystroglycanopath