Milestones in TMA Funded Research

Since 2002, The Myositis Association has funded research designed to understand the underlying causes and natural progression of myositis, develop better treatments and more effective therapies, and ultimately to create a cure for this collection of disabling diseases. In that time, TMA has approved 59 research projects, including grants and fellowships, totaling more than $7 million.

In 2020, TMA funded the following research:

Mazen Dimachkie MD, professor of Neurology at the University of Kansas, was awarded $200,000 for IBM research. Dr. Dimachkie will work with international IBM investigators on a randomized, double-blind, controlled Phase III trial of Sirolimus in sporadic IBM. The funding will be used over the course of two years, collaborates with research in France and Australia, and supports U.S. study sites Kansas and Maryland.

A fellowship of $100,000 over two years was awarded to Dr. Alexander Oldroyd for a project at the University of Manchester. Dr. Oldroyd’s project is at the Center for Epidemiology Versus Arthritis. TMA funds will support remote continuous disease activity monitoring in DM and PM by monitoring gait and daily symptoms.

Funds for this research effort come to TMA 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.

In 2019, TMA received applications for 26 projects. The following were awarded funding:

A pilot grant of $50,000 to Yves Allenbach, MD, PhD from Sorbonne University in Paris, France for the project “MyotoxICI:  A study of pathomechanism of in immune checkpoint inhibitor-induced myositis”

A pilot grant of $200,000 to Chelonda Johnson, MD, MHS from the University of Pennsylvania for the project “Autoimmune myositis-associated interstitial lung disease gene expression profiles”

A fellowship grant of $100,000 to Erin M. Wilfong, MD PhD from Vanderbuilt University for the project “Pathological role of B cells in idiopathic inflammatory myopathies”

Projects supported by TMA’s Research Grant Program

Myositis, All Forms
Inclusion body myositis
Dermatomyositis, polymyositis and necrotizing myopathy
Juvenile dermatomyositis