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New center to lead international muscular dystrophy research effort
Date:10/25/2007

The University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) announced today that it has received a $7.1 million gift from New York developer and philanthropist Richard T. Fields for neurological research and care. The gift the largest private donation for a specific disease program in the Medical Centers history will create a research and clinical center of excellence for facioscapulohumeral dystrophy (FSHD), a form of muscular dystrophy.

The new Fields Center for FSHD & Neuromuscular Research will be an international collaboration between the URMC Department of Neurology and Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands. The long-term, uninterrupted funding will accelerate what has generally been an uncoordinated and fragmented research effort. It will also enable URMC to develop the clinical programs that will make the University a national referral center for patients with the disease.

I want to express my deep gratitude to Richard Fields for his generous gift and his vision to bring together the people and resources necessary to find new ways to understand, treat and perhaps even cure this disease, said Bradford Berk, M.D., Ph.D., CEO of URMC. Our scientists strongly believe that new breakthroughs are within our grasp and Richards support will help catalyze their efforts.

Richard Fields is the chairman and founder of Coastal Development, which co-developed the Seminole Hard Rock Casino and Hotel resorts in Tampa and Hollywood, Florida. The resorts, which opened in early 2004, are among the most successful in North America. Fields is on the board of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a global leader in assisting families, law enforcement, and news media in locating missing or abducted children throughout the world. He is also a major donor and supporter of the New York City Police Foundation and Good Shepherd Service and is a board member or Farm Aid, a non-profit organization working to promote a strong
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Contact: Mark Michaud
mark_michaud@urmc.rochester.edu
585-273-4790
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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