Dr. Subodh Mishra awarded the 2021 Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation Fellowship

Subodh Mishra

(January 2021) - Dr.  Subodh Mishra, a post-doctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Andrew Berglund, has been awarded a fellowship from the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation UK to support his study titled Discovery of dietary natural compounds as potential therapeutics for DM.

Myotonic Dystrophy (DM) is a multi-systemic inherited disease that affects at least 1 in 2,300 people or over 150,000 individuals in the US alone. It is the most common cause of adult muscular dystrophy and one of the most variable and complicated disorders known. Understanding the disease mechanism and developing therapeutic strategies for myotonic dystrophy is the main focus of the Berglund lab.

The Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation supports scientific investigations to enhance the quality of life of people living with myotonic dystrophy and advance research focused on finding treatments and a cure for this disease. Since 2009, the foundation has provided two-year pre- and postdoctoral research fellowships to support new and innovative studies relevant to DM.

Dr. Mishra completed his Ph.D. from the Department of Biosciences and Biomedical Engineering, IIT Indore India and joined Dr. Berglund’s lab at the RNA Institute in the spring of 2019. He is co-mentored by Dr. Kaalak Reddy and collaborative staff scientist Dr. John Cleary, both former MDF Fellows themselves and all of whom are part of the RNA Institute’s myotonic dystrophy research team. “We’re extremely proud to have Subodh working with us at The RNA Institute and helping to build the New York Myotonic Dystrophy Center. As a former MDF fellow myself, it is great to be able to work with the next generation of DM researchers supported by the MDF,” said Dr. Cleary. "The MDF was instrumental in supporting my own research and career development and so it's great to be involved with Dr. Mishra's MDF supported research and in helping to train the next generation of MDF Fellows," said Dr. Reddy.

“I am thankful to receive this award. Finding a natural dietary supplement as a therapeutic could change the life of DM patients by reversing the molecular hallmark of DM”, said Dr. Mishra.  His project aims to study the therapeutic potential of a structurally diverse set of flavonoids - compounds that are naturally found in various plants, form part of our regular diet and are well tolerated even in high doses.  Dr. Mishra has already identified a number of promising candidates and will use this fellowship to characterize these compounds and determine their therapeutic potential in a number of DM model systems.

“It is wonderful that MDF continues to support our research efforts by selecting Dr. Mishra to receive one of their prestigious fellowships which helps to launch the careers of early stage investigators in the myotonic dystrophy field,” said RNA Institute Director Berglund.