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Charcot-marie-tooth disease research funding

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., July 10, 2008 -- The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a two-year grant of $220,076 to Williams College Assistant Professor of Biology Lara D. Hutson, in support of her research on Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease or CMT.

CMT is the most common inherited neuromuscular disease, affecting as many as one in every 2,500 individuals. CMT usually shows dominant inheritance and symptoms generally appear during adolescence or young adulthood. It is characterized by degeneration of long motor and sensory axons, which results in muscle atrophy and skeletal deformities.

Hutson's research will use zebrafish as a model system to investigate disease mutations in two small heat shock proteins, HSP27 and HSPB8, which can cause either CMT or the closely related disease Distal Hereditary Motor Neuropathy (dHMN). The results of these studies will help to better understand the cell biological events leading to axon degeneration in CMT and dHMN.

Since these diseases are likely determined, at least in part, by environmental factors, the results of these studies could have implications for the prevention and management of these diseases.

Hutson's primary research has been published in a number of prestigious scientific journals, including Neuron and Gene, as well as the compendium "The Zebrafish: Cellular and Developmental Biology." This is her third NIH grant award.


Contact: Jo Procter
Williams College

Page: 1

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