For Researchers Grappling With Muscular Dystrophy, This Funder Is Key

Muscular dystrophy is some horrible business. It’s an inherited disease caused by a mutation on the X chromosome, and it primarily affects males. It’s present from birth, and results in the gradual weakening of muscle, and loss of flexibility and function of limbs. In some cases, the overall wasting and weakening of tissue affects the heart and lung musculature and can lead to premature death, but in other dystrophy cases lifespan isn’t affected. Any way you slice it, however, MD remains a devastating disease that researchers are trying to better understand.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association is a key source of support for such research, and recently announced that it's open to letters of intent for its biannual Research Grants Program. The MDA is the largest nonprofit health organization devoted to finding cures for muscular dystrophy—it also works on ALS and other neuromuscular diseases—and it primarily focuses on conducting MD research while also supporting advocacy work, fundraising efforts, and family support projects.

For this award, successful applicants can expect an award of around $100,000 per year for one to three years. The emphasis here is on finding treatments for muscular dystrophy or other muscular diseases. “To be eligible, an applicant must hold a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Doctor of Science (D.Sc.), or equivalent degree (such as D.O.); be a professional or faculty member (professor, associate professor, or assistant professor at an appropriate educational, medical, or research institution); be qualified to conduct and mentor a program of original research within his or her own laboratory; assume both administrative and financial responsibility for the grant; and have access to institutional resources necessary to conduct the proposed research project.”

International proposals are considered. Letters of intent must be received by June 15th, 2015. Please check the website for the full RFP