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Lab News

Peter and Takako Jones Lab

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Jones lab and FSH Society collaborate to make cell lines from FSHD families publicly available for research and therapeutic development

January 24, 2017

The FSH Society, the Massachusetts-based non-profit and global leader in the quest to understand and treat facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), today recognizes the publication of the first set of samples of an important collection of cell lines from individuals with FSHD that is now available through the NIGMS Human Genetic Cell Repository at Coriell Institute for Medical Research. Comprised of cell lines from 114 patients representing 12 multigenerational FSHD families, this collection is an invaluable new resource for scientists seeking to understand and develop treatments for one of the most common forms of muscular dystrophy.

This work, begun in 1987 by Daniel P. Perez and the late Stephen J. Jacobsen, Ph.D., fellow FSHD-patients and co-founders of the FSH Society, represents the culmination of a 30-year journey to generate much-needed resources for the FSHD research community. These cell lines were derived from clinical samples taken from FSHD patients and their unaffected relatives between 1987 and 1992, based on the clinical assessments of Dr. Jacobsen and other neurologists with expertise in the disease. There was no genetic test available for the disease back then and information required to allow public distribution of these cell lines was not available. Over the past two and a half years, Peter and Takako Jones' laboratory at the University of Massachusetts (now at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine) collaborated with the FSH Society and Coriell Institute, where the cells were housed, to confirm the pedigrees and produce critical characterization data relevant to FSHD that allowed for the cell lines to be made available to the research community.


Peter Jones is named to the Scientific Advisory Board for Fulcrum Therapeutics

December 7, 2016

Fulcrum Therapeutics is a biotechnology company developing new medicines to deliver a new future to patients and their families by transforming gene regulation in disease. Fulcrum's therapies are based on modulating gene regulation via control of genetic on and off switches of disease genes. Fulcrum, headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., was launched by Third Rock Ventures in 2016 and named a "Fierce 15" company later that year.


Charis Himeda, PhD, named FSH Society Top Young Investigator for 2016

November 11, 2016

Charis Himeda awardDr. Charis Himeda, an Instructor with the Takako and Peter Jones lab, was named the inaugural FSH Society Young Investigator Award Winner for her "many innovative studies, including her contributions to the ground-breaking 2015 paper published in Molecular Therapy, 'CRISPR/dCas9-mediated transcriptional inhibition ameliorates the epigenetic dysregulation at D4Z4 and represses DUX4-fl in FSH muscular dystrophy.'


MDA interview with Jones lab alum Dr. Ryan Wuebbles

June 23, 2016

Dr. Ryan Wuebbles was diagnosed with FSHD while a junior in college at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Ryan introduced the Jones lab to FSHD back in 2002 when the lab was just beginning, also at UIUC. Ryan earned his PhD with us in 2009 working on FRG1 and DUX4 using Xenopus development as a model system. He is now a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Nevada School of Medicine and the Chief Scientific Officer for Strykagen, Inc, a company he founded with Dr. Dean Burkin at UNR. The focus of his work has been on small molecule therapuetics for muscular dystrophy, mainly DMD and CMD so far, but will be working on our new FLExD mouse model of FSHD in the near future.


Takako and Peter Jones lab featured on World FSHD Day

June 20, 2016

June 20th, 2016 is the inaugural "World FSHD Day", which aims to raise worldwide awareness for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy. MDA supports FSHD research in the Jones lab through a 3-yr (2016-19) research grant to rigorously characterize our FLExDUX4 FSHD-like mouse model.

Thank you to the MDA for supporting our research program and helping to raise FSHD awareness!

MDA logoWorld FSHD Day


Takako Jones presents at the Frontiers in Myogenesis meeting

June 7, 2016

Takako and Peter Jones attended the Frontiers in Myogenesis meeting sponsored by the Society for Muscle Biology June 6-11, 2016 held at the Asilomar conference center near Monterey, CA. The theme was "Molecular Mechanisms Modulating Skeletal Muscle Development and Homeostasis in Health and Disease". Takako presented in the Muscle Diseases and Therapies session.