Gianvito Masi, MD, a neurologist in the lab of Kevin O’Connor, PhD, has been selected as a MGNet Scholar by the Myasthenia Gravis Rare Disease Network (MGNet), which is part of the National Institutes of Health’s Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network. The grant, “Investigating immune mechanisms underlying checkpoint inhibitor myasthenia gravis,” funds two years of research and will begin in June 2022.
The MGNet Scholar Program furthers the clinical and translational myasthenia gravis (MG) research endeavors of clinical fellows, post-doctoral fellows, or junior faculty. Beyond the lab, scholars also have the opportunity to travel to MGNet sites to collaborate with their peers in the field and share their research findings.
With the support of the grant, Dr. Masi hopes to ultimately gain clarity on the immunological characteristics of a novel MG subtype, thereby improving patient outcomes.
“Positioned at the intersection of neurology, immunology and oncology, this project aims to evaluate B-cell tolerance defects and autoantibody functionality in patients who develop MG following cancer immunotherapy,” he explains. “This research topic promises a new window onto the pathogenesis of MG, with further implications for the care of MG patients."