The National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the Rare Diseases Clinical Research Consortia (RDCRC) has awarded a research team from Yale University, George Washington University, and Duke University $7.8 million to establish a rare disease network for myasthenia gravis (MGNet).
Myasthenia is characterized by weakness and rapid fatigue of any of the muscles under your voluntary control. Symptoms vary but can include weakness of arm or leg muscles, double vision, drooping eyelids, and difficulties with speech, chewing, swallowing and breathing.
Yale’s Kevin C. O’Connor and Richard J. Nowak are core program leaders on the team, which is led by Henry J. Kaminski of George Washington University. Other team members include Linda Kusner of George Washington University, and Jeffery T. Guptill of Duke University.
The network, which will include seven study sites, will be part of 25 established NIH RDCRC. It will include basic and clinical investigators, patient advocacy groups, and biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies working together to enhance therapeutic development for this rare disease. The grant will fund research into the underlying pathophysiology of the disease, provide fellowships for young investigators, and fund pilot grants.