The Myositis Association announces the awarding of three new research grants to fund basic and applied investigations in myositis diseases.
Since 2002, TMA’s research funding program has awarded 37 grants and 19 research fellowships, totaling nearly $7 million. The following myositis research projects were recommended for funding by the TMA’s Medical Advisory Board and approved by the TMA Board of Directors:
- A grant to Harvard neurologist Dr. Steven Greenberg for a “Pilot study of CD8 T-cell imaging with 89Zr-Df-IAB22m2C in IBM.” This is a novel imaging agent that has been shown to be effective in monitoring immune system activity during cancer treatment. Dr. Greenberg hopes this new agent will provide a means for monitoring similar immune activity in patients with IBM.
- A grant to rheumatologist Dr. Lisa Christopher-Stine, Director of the Johns Hopkins Myositis Center, for the project “The gut and skin microbiota in patients with DM.” The microbiome is increasingly being recognized as an important influence in a wide range of diseases, especially autoimmune conditions. Dr. Christopher-Stine hopes to begin an exploration of the significance of the microbiome in myositis patients by identifying organisms commonly occurring in dermatomyositis patients.
- A post-doctoral fellowship grant to geneticist Dr. Johanna Parkes for the project “Role of innate immune and metabolic pathways in mediating muscle weakness in myositis.” Dr. Parkes hopes to identify specific areas of cell metabolism that may be related to chronic muscle weakness in patients with myositis. Dr. Parkes is working with TMA medical advisor Dr. Kanneboyina Nagaraju at SUNY Binghamton.
Funds for TMA’s Research Funding Program come primarily from myositis patients, their families, and friends. Each year, proposals are sought for basic and applied research projects as well as applications for fellowships from young scientists who have an interest in a career studying myositis. Based on recommendations from TMA’s Medical Advisory Board of international myositis experts, TMA’s Board of Directors chooses the most promising of these proposals to fund.
More information about past TMA-funded projects can be found here.