FightSMA and Gwendolyn Strong Foundation Announce Barrington G. Burnett As The $62,500 Emerging Investigator Award Winner

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by Isaura Santos |

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shutterstock_153178391Dr. Barrington G. Burnett was named the recipient of the 2014 Emerging Investigator $62,500 Finalist Award, according to a recent Gwendolyn Strong Foundation and FightSMA announcement. Dr. Barrington G. Burnett’s project was entitled “Targeting the Ubiquitin Proteasome System to Treat Spinal Muscular Atrophy,” with the goal of identifying pathways and genes that can accelerate SMN protein breakdown and selectively inhibit those pathways.

FightSMA and The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation developed the Emerging Investigator Awards in 2013 to attract talented scientists and promising, innovative projects into the spinal muscular atrophy research field.

“In just two years, eight incredibly talented researchers have been funded nearly $400,000 through these awards,” Mike Calise from FightSMA said in a press release. “Eight distinct programs have been funded, and two of the recipients have started their own labs for SMA research.”

The co-founder of the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation, Bill Strong, stated: “It’s imperative that we continue to attract the best research talent in the world to fight against SMA. The Emerging Investigator Awards play a vital role in the continued fight.”

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“It’s truly an honor to receive this award, and I greatly appreciate the continued support of FightSMA and the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation. I am buoyed by the recent progress we have made in the lab and, with the help of this funding, I look forward to completing our current studies. Hopefully, this line of investigation will allow us to expand the therapeutic options for SMA,” said Dr. Burnett, the recipient of the award and professor at the Health Sciences in Bethesda.

FightSMA is a nonprofit organization committed to finding treatments for spinal muscular atrophy, the number one cause of inherited genetic-related death among young children. The organization been in existence for almost 25 years and has attributed grants to more than 45 research institutes and universities in 5 different countries.

The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation is also a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization focused on increasing global awareness of spinal muscular atrophy, speeding-up research and supporting families that are affected with SMA. Their motto is “never give up.”