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University of Massachusetts Medical School Opens New Center for FSHD Research and Training
Date:11/15/2013

other translational research groups at UMMS, such as the Department of Neurology and the Gene Therapy Center, have given the programs another opportunity to bring their unique talents to bear on a vexing clinical problem,” said Terence R. Flotte, MD, executive deputy chancellor, provost and dean of the school of medicine. “This is an important addition to the translational research enterprise.”

The UMMS Center’s mission includes training the next generation of muscular dystrophy clinical and basic researchers, and providing the broader research community with biomaterials for muscular dystrophy research. An important new initiative for the Center will be the establishment of an FSHD clinic, which will serve patients in the region and enable them to participate in research and clinical trials. The partnership between FSHD patients, their families, Center scientists, clinicians and the overall industry will be essential for the Center to successfully carry out its mission to develop therapies for FSHD and other debilitating muscle diseases.

Additionally, the Center supports an Education and Training Core that will oversee a pre- and postdoctoral fellowship program designed to mentor young scientists for careers in skeletal muscle and muscular dystrophy research, with a strong focus on multidisciplinary training for FSHD and muscle disease research. A Cell Core laboratory, with a repository of muscle tissue and cells, will perform genomic studies to establish FSHD biomarkers and will make cell lines available to investigators worldwide for testing new FSHD therapeutics.

The FSH Society will work directly with Wellstone Center leadership to consult on key communications, organize patient and research meetings and workshops, and provide education and support for patients and families participating in the Center’s studies.

The UMMS Wellstone Center is one of six centers funded by the National Institutes of Health, with additional fundin
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