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March of Dimes Awards $250,000 Prize to Scientists Unraveling the Causes of Muscular Dystrophy
Date:5/6/2009

BALTIMORE, May 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Two scientists whose work has led to new and better ways to diagnose and potentially treat muscular dystrophy have been chosen to receive the 2009 March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology.

Kevin P. Campbell, Ph.D. and Louis M. Kunkel, Ph.D., share the 2009 March of Dimes Prize for their pioneering work identifying the genes and proteins that cause muscular dystrophy, a disorder in which the muscles progressively degenerate. More than 250,000 Americans are affected by the nine forms of muscular dystrophy and other related neuromuscular disorders. Among this group are facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy and limb girdle muscular dystrophy, as well as childhood conditions such as Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies and congenital muscular dystrophy.

The March of Dimes Prize is a $250,000 cash award and a silver medal in the design of the Roosevelt dime, in honor of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who founded the March of Dimes. The Prize was awarded to Dr. Campbell and Dr. Kunkel at a gala black tie dinner and ceremony at the InterContinental Harbor Court in Baltimore May 3. CBS sportscaster Greg Gumbel, member of the March of Dimes national Honorary Board of Trustees, hosted the ceremony.

"Dr. Campbell and Dr. Kunkel have provided crucial insights into how muscular dystrophies develop -- the critical step needed to develop diagnostic tools and potential treatments," said Michael Katz, MD, senior vice president for Research and Global Programs at the March of Dimes.

"Based on their pioneering research, physicians all over the world now are better able to help families and children affected by these disorders. Currently, there are several promising clinical trials of new treatments in progress based on the achievements of these two scientists," Dr. Katz continued.

Dr. Campbell, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investig
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SOURCE March of Dimes
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