Dr. Kevin Campbell at the University of Iowa together with the Schultz laboratory at Scripps Research Institute secured a 2 million dollar two year NIH grant with the following 3 aims:
1. develop animal models for the dystroglycanopathy form of CMD as a resource for the scientific community
2. identify new genes that lead to dystroglycanopathy. Currently, only a 1/3 of people with a dystroglycanopathy diagnosis are able to obtain genetic confirmation through the 6 known genes that lead to this form of CMD. Identifying new genes allows insight into new possible therapeutic targets and mechanisms for drug development across the muscular dystrophies.
3. identify new drugs that target glycosylation through high throughput screens. Drugs that affect glycosylation may have therapeutic benefit for the following forms of muscular dystrophy based upon prior research studies: dystroglycanopathies, merosin deficient CMD and Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
The Kevin Campbell lab has been focused upon understanding the crucial link between a muscular dystrophy mutation and how this leads to the disease we call muscular dystrophy. In other words, how does a mutation on a cellular level lead to the disease we call muscular dystrophy with muscle breakdown and progressive weakness. Understanding why muscular dystrophy happens on the cellular level will allow for the development of drugs to target the primary and secondary drivers that lead to muscle disease and progression.