Tackling Muscular Dystrophy with UCLA

July 28, 2017

Posted: February 3, 2017, 10:24am  

Last week, our research group, the Laboratory of Living Systems Engineering, linked with the Center for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at UCLA to discuss collaborating with one another to discover new methods for curing or preventing further decline in muscular dystrophy patients. Because they have been working with many patients with various forms of muscular dystrophy in the past, they have accumulated an incredible bank of tissue samples that have DNA with unique mutations that directly lead to their disease symptoms. They have learned a lot from studying these cells on molecular and cellular bases; however, they are starting to look into developing larger tissues and assessing them in more functional, applicable ways.

With our experience in cell culture and an assay called “muscular thin films” (MTFs), we could take the muscular dystrophy studies to another level. I’m looking forward to working with their PhDs to learn their cell differentiation protocols, and experimenting with their generous bank of cell lines. Hopefully, we will be able to identify more mechanisms that contribute to these diseases, discover factors the cause certain cases to be more or less severe, and develop agents that can reverse or halt the progression of muscular dystrophy. Some of the patients whose cells we’re going to be studying are still alive today. Maybe we’ll be able to improve their quality of life with our studies!

Published on July 28th, 2017

Last updated on August 10th, 2017