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 last year. 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.

"Integrating the Neurocircuitry of Cervical Dystonia Across Mouse and Man"
 Michael Fox, PhD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

“TorsinB Developmental Expression and Selective Cell Vulnerability in DYT1 Dystonia”
Chun-Chi Liang, PhD, University of Michigan

“Dissecting the Function and Regulation of the TorsinA-LAP1 Holoenzyme”
G.W. Gant Luxton, PhD, University of Minnesota

“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

“Structural and Biochemical Analysis of TorsinA and Torsin(ΔE)”
Thomas U. Schwartz, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"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.