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 56 research projects, including grants and fellowships, totaling nearly $7 million.

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.

This year, TMA received applications for 16 projects. The following were awarded funding:

A grant of $19,000 to Steven Greenberg for a “Pilot study of CD8 T-cell imaging with 89Zr-Df-IAB22m2C in IBM.”

A grant of $100,000 to Lisa Christopher-Stine for “The gut and skin microbiota in patients with DM.”

A fellowship grant of $100,000 to Johanna Parkes for the project “Role of innate immune and metabolic pathways in mediating muscle weakness in myositis.”

EPIDEMIOLOGY

• Created databases and developed research cohorts to better investigate the patterns of disease and best treatment options
• Evaluated clinical and biological data to develop a predictive model of clinical disease
• Analyzed genetic associations and identified new genetic markers for myositis

PATHOPHYSIOLOGY

• Explored a wide range of immune system variables to identify causal relationships and therapeutic targets
• Identified underlying mechanisms for myositis symptoms and the disease process

TREATMENT

• Tested a variety of therapeutic possibilities, including stem cells, creatine supplementation, diet and exercise, and follistatin
• Developed and tested several clinical assessment tools to more accurately measure function and disease improvement
• Worked with IBM patients to evaluate methods of bracing to improve movement and stability

Projects supported by TMA’s Research Grant Program

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