MDC funds seven new projects to propel research forward during challenging times

Toronto, Ontario – Muscular Dystrophy Canada (MDC) is proud to announce an investment of $400,000 to fund seven new research projects in 2021 through the MDC Neuromuscular Disorder (NMD) Research Grant Competition, a dedicated Canadian source of funding for neuromuscular research. MDC will also invest in an international, collaborative, $1.15 million, research project through the European Joint Programme on Rare Diseases (EJP RD).

“Despite an unprecedented time, during which many like-minded organizations and agencies are not in a position to offer research funds in Canada, MDC is able to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to discovering cures,” stated Stacey Lintern, CEO, Muscular Dystrophy Canada. She added, “while others redirected their research funds towards the coronavirus, and this was much-needed, MDC recognized the need to maintain momentum, and ensure the incredible advances currently taking place in research are accelerated.”

In addition to the seven new projects being funded, MDC will continue its support of 12 active research studies from the previous year.

“MDC grant recipients are selected by medical and scientific professionals, as well as Canadians with lived experience. Research proposals are judged based on scientific merit, and the potential to translate findings into initiatives that will positively impact the NMD community,” said Dr. Daria Wojtal, Director of Research, Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

MDC relies on the generosity of donors to fund life-changing research.

Dr. Rashmi Kothary, Deputy Scientific Director and Senior Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and 2019-2020 MDC research grant recipient, said “to the families and donors, I would have to say a huge thank you. From my first day as a researcher, getting my first grant from MDC, you were there. Thank you for sticking by the research community for many, many years. Hopefully we can pay back the trust that you put in us.”

MDC is honoured to fund the exceptional and bright researchers, clinicians and academics who will lead these seven new projects taking place in hospitals and universities across Canada, and around the world.

The 2020-2021 research grant recipients are:

  • Dr. Alex Parker
    A Pharmacogenetic Pipeline for Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease
  • Dr. Colin Crist
    Promoting Muscle Repair by Pharmacological Inhibition of eIF2a Dephosphorylation
  • Dr. Mohamed Chahine
    Human iPSC-derived Neurons as a Model of Congenital Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1
  • Dr. Nadine Wiper-Bergeron
    Improving Myoblast Transplantation Outcomes via Pharmacological Reprogramming
  • Dr. Nicolas Dumont
    Targeting Defective Stem Cells in a Preclinical Model of Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1
  • Dr. Rima Al-Awar (EJPRD/CIHR Co-funded)
    Safety and Efficacy of a Possible Epigenetic Therapy for Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy
  • Dr. Toshifumi Yokota
    Enhancing the Efficacy of Antisense Oligonucleotide Therapy for Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy

“Congratulations to the 2020-2021 grant recipients. MDC is committed to supporting opportunities that fulfill our commitment to invest in research that leads to information on diagnosis, treatment and health management of neuromuscular disorders; and, we’re confident that the research funded this year will bring us closer to cures for all children, youth, adults and families affected by neuromuscular disorders,” added Lintern.




Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s mission is to enhance the lives of those impacted with neuromuscular disorders by continually working to provide ongoing support and resources while relentlessly searching for a cure through well-funded research. To learn more about Muscular Dystrophy Canada, please explore our website or call our toll-free number at 1-800-567-2873


Heather Rice
Muscular Dystrophy Canada

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