The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) announces the award of 34 new research grants totaling more than $9.9 million in its summer round of funding.

“This latest round of grants is impressive in terms of total funding, number of grants awarded and the diverse impact these grants will have in furthering neuromuscular disease research,” says MDA President & CEO Lynn O’Connor Vos, in a media release.

“With each grant cycle we are getting closer to unlocking the mysteries of so many of these neuromuscular diseases and identifying therapeutic targets that will lead to life-changing treatments, which is very exciting.”

Of note in this latest round of funding are two grants awarded to set up clinical research networks for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) and limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD), respectively. Additionally, a research infrastructure grant was awarded to fund the development of computational tools that can integrate and analyze complex amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) data sets.

This latest round of funding also includes 24 research grants awarded to established, independent investigators; five development grants awarded to investigators at the beginning of their careers and who are on the brink of becoming independent investigators; one clinical trial travel grant to help alleviate the financial burden on individuals and families traveling to participate in clinical research; and one clinical research training scholarship to a physician in the early stage of their medical career who is interested in pursuing a career in clinical neuromuscular research, the release explains.

“This latest round of grants is a testament to the advances in technology and drug discovery that have taken place in the last few years,” states MDA Senior Vice President and Scientific Director Grace Pavlath, PhD.

“The opportunity to fund groundbreaking research has never been greater, and MDA remains committed to achieving our ultimate goal of providing treatments and cures for our community.”

MDA is currently funding 177 different research projects around the world with a combined investment of $47.3 million.

[Source(s): Muscular Dystrophy Association, PR Newswire]