Fields Center for FSHD (FSH Dystrophy) Research
5th Fields Center Patient Day May 14, 2016, group photo
The Fields Center for FSHD and Neuromuscular Research represents the first concerted international effort to accelerate aggressive and innovative clinical and genetic research to find treatments for people with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, also known as FSH dystrophy or FSHD. The Fields Center is a “Center Without Walls,” advancing the synergistic efforts of two of the world’s leading institutions in the area of neuromuscular disease research, the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Neuromuscular Disease Center and Leiden University Medical Center’s Department of Human Genetics initiated the Center. Soon therafter, The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center became an integral part of the Fields Center, bringing in vital expertise in skeletal muscle development.
Through this dynamic partnership between clinical researchers and basic scientists, Fields Center researchers have made groundbreaking advances in understanding the molecular mechanisms in FSHD describing the unifying hypothesis for FSHD in 2010. This discovery, identifying a target for therapeutic intervention, has shifted the focus in FSHD research toward the translation phase with potential therapy now on the horizon. In addition, the Center has been a driving force in establishing FSHD care standards, standards in genetic testing as well as in laying the groundwork for future clinical trials in FSHD The Fields Center actively recruits interested scientists to collaborate on studies, drawing on the expertise of leading researchers to address critical questions. Through these efforts, researchers strive to improve current disease management strategies and identify therapeutic targets to treat FSHD (FSH dystrophy).
The Fields Center was made possible through the generous support of Mr. Richard T. Fields, Chairman of Coastal Development, LLC, and the Fields Family Foundation. The Fields Family Foundation supports several charities and has been honored for its generous contributions to children’s and safety causes. Richard Fields is on the board of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a global leader in assisting families, law enforcement, and news media in locating missing or abducted children throughout the world. Richard Fields is also a major donor and supporter of the New York City Police Foundation and Good Shepherd Service and is a board member of Farm Aid, a non-profit organization working to promote a strong and sustainable family farm-based system of agriculture throughout the country. The University of Rochester is grateful for Richard Fields long term support of this important project.