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Center for Myotonic Dystrophy Research Draws a Step Closer with Private Foundation Support

Part of the RNA Institute's myotonic dystrophy research team are, left to right, research scientist Kaalak Reddy, collaborative staff scientist John Cleary, and institute director, Andy Berglund. (Photo by Patrick Dodson)

ALBANY, N.Y. (July 28, 2020) — The RNA Institute has been awarded seed funding from The Marigold Foundation to help develop a Center for Myotonic Dystrophy. It will serve as a hub for academic, clinical and industrial collaborative partnerships to increase research, educational and clinical opportunities in myotonic dystrophy (DM).

DM is the most common cause of adult muscular dystrophy and has a surprisingly high prevalence in New York State, of approximately one in 2,100 people. New York, however, also has a number of leading DM researchers, including Andy Berglund, professor of Biological Sciences and director of the RNA Institute.

Utilizing a growing core of the institute researchers with more than four decades of combined experience in the DM field, Berglund’s team is now laying the center’s foundation. Their work in the DM field has been published in several academic journals, including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

While still in the planning and development stages, the center’s goal will be to serve as an internationally prominent research and training hub for scientific discovery, clinical advancement and therapeutic development in DM. The Institute already holds several major federal and private grants supporting DM research; the new philanthropic support from The Marigold Foundation enhances the center’s the center’s prospects for the future.

The Marigold Foundation is a Canadian charity committed to the development of meaningful treatments for orphan diseases, particularly myotonic muscular dystrophy.

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