This proposal describes a 5-year program for training in translational research and experimental therapeutics of neuromuscular disease. The principal investigator has completed his residency training in Neurology and a clinical fellowship in neuromuscular disease. He now will continue to develop his scientific skills through studies involving transgenic mouse models and novel therapeutic agents for myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1). Through these experiences the applicant is expected to transition to independence by the completion of this Award. His mentoring team includes experts in neuromuscular disease, experimental therapeutics, molecular genetics, and muscle physiology. His environment and advisory team will expose the applicant to cutting edge thinking and guidance on developing treatments for muscle disease. His area of investigation, DM1, is poised to become a paradigm for translation of molecular pathophysiology into disease-modifying agents. Indeed, the applicant had the leading role in developed a novel approach that has already demonstrated impressive restorative capability in mouse models of DM1, and has potential to translate rapidly into """"""""first in man"""""""" applications.
In Aim 1 of this proposal the applicant will establish and characterize new lines of """"""""therapy reporter"""""""" transgenic mice, i.e., mice that are specifically designed to allow rapid and precise determination of therapeutic effects through in vivo imaging. The goal is to streamline the development process.
In Specific Aims 2 and 3 the applicant will further evaluate a novel use of therapeutic oligonucleotides that act through inhibition of a deleterious RNA-protein interaction. The Department of Neurology at the University of Rochester provides an ideal setting for the training of physician-scientists by incorporating expertise from clinical and basic science investigators. Such an environment maximizes the potential for the principal investigator to establish a scientific niche from which an academic career can be constructed.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Clinical Investigator Award (CIA) (K08)
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Study Section
NST-2 Subcommittee (NST)
Program Officer
Porter, John D
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University of Rochester
Schools of Dentistry
United States
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Pandey, Sanjay K; Wheeler, Thurman M; Justice, Samantha L et al. (2015) Identification and characterization of modified antisense oligonucleotides targeting DMPK in mice and nonhuman primates for the treatment of myotonic dystrophy type 1. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 355:329-40
Nakamori, Masayuki; Sobczak, Krzysztof; Puwanant, Araya et al. (2013) Splicing biomarkers of disease severity in myotonic dystrophy. Ann Neurol 74:862-72
Sobczak, Krzysztof; Wheeler, Thurman M; Wang, Wenli et al. (2013) RNA interference targeting CUG repeats in a mouse model of myotonic dystrophy. Mol Ther 21:380-7
Mankodi, Ami; Wheeler, Thurman M; Shetty, Reena et al. (2012) Progressive myopathy in an inducible mouse model of oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy. Neurobiol Dis 45:539-46
Wheeler, Thurman M; Leger, Andrew J; Pandey, Sanjay K et al. (2012) Targeting nuclear RNA for in vivo correction of myotonic dystrophy. Nature 488:111-5
Mulders, Susan A M; van den Broek, Walther J A A; Wheeler, Thurman M et al. (2009) Triplet-repeat oligonucleotide-mediated reversal of RNA toxicity in myotonic dystrophy. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106:13915-20
Wheeler, Thurman M; Sobczak, Krzysztof; Lueck, John D et al. (2009) Reversal of RNA dominance by displacement of protein sequestered on triplet repeat RNA. Science 325:336-9