FSHD Research Center at UR Medicine
The FSHD Research Center 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 FSHD Research 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 thereafter, The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center became an integral part of the FSHD Center, bringing in vital expertise in skeletal muscle development.
Through this dynamic partnership between clinical researchers and basic scientists, FSHD 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. In 2016 Dr. Tawil and Dr. Jeffrey Statland, one of the FSHD Research Center’s principal investigators from Kansas University Medical Center, obtained NIH funding for the largest natural history of study of FSHD. The study also known as the ReSolve Study (Clinical Trial Readiness to Solve Barriers to Drug Development in FSHD) is of critical importance as it will provide essential information for the planning and conduct of future clinical trials.