UNC Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Center inauguration

The inauguration of the Senator Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Center at UNC-Chapel Hill occurred March 2. The new center was established in October with a $7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

During the inaugural event at the ITS Building on Manning Drive in Chapel Hill, guest speakers included Chancellor Holden Thorp and U.S. Rep. David Price, 4th District of N.C.

The event also featured presentations by UNC Wellstone Center investigators R. Jude Samulski, Ph.D., center director and director of the UNC Gene Therapy Center, professor of pharmacology in the School of Medicine and a member of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center; William J. Powers, M.D., H. Houston Merritt Distinguished Professor and chair of neurology in the School of Medicine; Xiao Xiao, Ph.D., Eshelman Distinguished Professor in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy and member of the Gene Therapy Center; and Joe Kornegay, D.V.M., Ph.D., professor of pathology in the School of Medicine and director of the National Center for Canine Models of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

The new center is one of six existing Wellstone Centers that have been established by the National Institutes of Health. Wellstone, a UNC alumnus, was an advocate for muscular dystrophy issues in Congress before he was killed in a plane crash in 2002. The UNC center’s major theme will be to develop novel, gene-based therapies for muscle disorders in the laboratory and then advance those therapies into the clinical setting.

For more details on the establishment of the center, go to: http://www.med.unc.edu/www/news/2008-news-archives/october/new-muscular-dystrophy-cooperative-research-center-established-at-unc/.