Current Research Investigations

The ultimate goal of the Science Program is to support the discovery of improved therapies and a cure.

To achieve this goal, the DMRF is dedicated to stimulating the field of dystonia research and supporting the collaborations and projects necessary to accelerate progress.

The DMRF is also devoted to attracting young, talented investigators who are becoming the next generation of leaders in dystonia research. In many cases, DMRF grant and fellowship awards are intended to help investigators gather enough preliminary data to make them eligible for much larger grants from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health.

The DMRF is proud to announce this year's exciting research projects, some of which are continuing from 2013. Each of these projects is meaningful because it addresses one or more of the core directions necessary to advance the field. These core directions include furthering our fundamental understanding of what dystonia is, uncovering the mechanisms in the nervous system that leads to symptoms, creating models of dystonia to use in experiments, and discovering targets for new and improved therapeutics designed specifically to treat dystonia.

Congratulations to this year’s award recipients, and infinite thanks to our supporters for making this research funding possible.

Research Grants and Contracts

Research grants are available in support of hypothesis-driven research at the genetic, molecular, cellular, systems, or behavioral levels that may lead to a better understanding of the pathophysiology or to new therapies for any or all forms of dystonia. Contracts provide the opportunity to direct research through the identification of specific, milestone-driven projects to be conducted by identified investigators and closely monitored by the DMRF’s Chief Scientific Officer.

"Development of Novel Reagents to Augment Cholinergic Signaling in Dystonia"--2nd year
Randy Blakely, PhD, Craig Lindsley, PhD, J. Scott Daniels, PhD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

"A New Gene and A Novel Pathway Leading to Myoclonus Dystonia"--2nd year
Dennis Bulman, PhD, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institution
David Grimes, MD, University of Ottawa
Anthony Lang, MD, University of Toronto
Christine Klein, MD, University of Lübeck, Germany

"Interactions of M4 and D1/Gαolf Signaling in Striatum: Implications for Treatment of Primary Dystonia"--2nd year
P. Jeffrey Conn, PhD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Jurgen Wess, PhD, National Institutes of Health
Denise Herve, French Institute of Health & Medical Research (INSERM)

"The Mechanism of Developmental Dysfunction in DYT6 Dystonia"--2nd year
William Dauer, MD, University of Michigan

"Integrating the Neurocircuitry of Cervical Dystonia across Mouse and Man"
Michael Fox, MD, PhD, Veronique Vanderhorst, MD, PhD, Daniel Tarsy, MD, Ron Alterman, MD, Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center

"Whole Exome Sequencing in Families with Myoclonus-Dystonia without SGCE Mutations from Turkey and Germany"
Thomas Gasser, MD, Saskia Biskup, MD, PhD Ebba Lohmann, MD, University of Tübingen
Hasmet Hanagasi, MD, Istanbul University

"Effects of Novel GABA-A Receptor Subunit Selective Compounds on the Severity of Dystonia"
Angelika Richter, PhD, University of Leipzig, Germany

“Evaluation of the Effects of a Novel Nicotinic Agonist, AZD1446, on Neurochemical and Electrophysiologic Endpoints in DYT1 Mouse Models”
David Standaert, MD, PhD, University of Alabama, Birmingham
Antonio Pisani, MD, PhD, University of Rome

"Role of Cerebello-Basal Ganglia Interactions in Primate Dystonia"
Thomas Wichmann, MD, Yoland Smith, PhD, Emory University

Mahlon DeLong Young Investigator Award

"Muscarinic Receptor M4 Modulation of Dopaminergic Signaling in a GNAL Dystonia Mutant Mouse Model"
Mark Moehle, MD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Accelerating Research & Inspiring Hope

The Dystonia Medical Research Foundation (DMRF) has served the dystonia community since 1976. Join us in our global effort to find a cure.