The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) continues to enhance its research and healthcare services programs and has recently hired two new Scientific Program Officers: Amanda Haidet-Phillips and Laura Hagerty, both Ph.D. They will be reporting to Grace Pavlath, also Ph.D, who joined MDA in the past year to be the Scientific Program Director and the Senior Vice President. Together they will lead the Association to advance research in order to discover new front-line discoveries that might lead to cures and treatments for several types of neuromuscular and motor neuron diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
“We are thrilled to have Amanda and Laura on our team, and I’m confident their depth of clinical and scientific knowledge will enable MDA to accelerate progress for the families we serve and the larger research community. Both scientists are deeply immersed in research and development and bring tremendous expertise in the neuromuscular and motor neuron disease field. Their hires are a very tangible sign of MDA’s urgent, passionate commitment to pursue new life-saving discoveries and unlock breakthroughs through our research program,” said Valerie Cwik who is the Executive Vice President of MDA.
The MDA has a committed, aggressive plan to significantly improve and refocus its research investments; to establish new partnerships with bio-pharmaceutical companies and other firms; to make it easier to launch clinical trials; improve the quality of health services, care and therapies for families; and open and establish new channels to connect with those who need the MDA’s assistance. Last year, the MDA supported through funding about 250 research projects in 11 different countries. It also controls a network of more than 150 clinics across the country and it assists more than 100,000 registered families.
“MDA’s mission is one that I have been working toward my entire career – to find treatments and cures to combat the devastating effects of motor neuron diseases. I’ve had the opportunity to learn from renowned and respected leaders in the ALS research field while making significant contributions, and I look forward to helping MDA achieve its mission,” said Haidet-Phillips, the researcher focused on nerve and motor neuron diseases.
“I am honored and excited to join an organization that has played a major role in neuromuscular disease research breakthroughs. In my most recent work in developing treatments for DMD, I have seen firsthand what a promising time this is for muscular dystrophy research. I look forward to applying my skill set in working directly with the communities who will benefit from these treatments,” said Hagerty who is focused on muscle diseases.