Dr. R. Jude Samulski has been awarded a $5 Million grant for the UNC Gene Therapy Center from the National Institutes of Health to establish a national center for canine models of muscular dystrophy.
The grant, which has been jointly funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, will provide $5,258,622 over a 5-year period. The project’s principal investigator is Joe N. Kornegay, D.V.M., Ph.D., a professor in the Departments of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Neurology in the UNC School of Medicine and a researcher in the UNC Gene Therapy Center. The project's overall Co-Investigator is Dr. Samulski, the Director of the Gene Therapy Center and faculty member of the Pharmacology Department.
The project aims to establish a stable colony of dogs with muscular dystrophy, as well as core laboratories that will provide specialized testing to evaluate dogs included in preclinical therapy development projects. It will officially get under way in July 2008.