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Dean Burkin and Lab

UNR Med and NIH Researchers Aim to Repurpose Former Experimental Cancer Therapy to Treat Muscular Dystrophy

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine have demonstrated that a drug originally targeted unsuccessfully to treat cancer may serve as a potential treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

The candidate drug, SU9516, represents a different approach for treating DMD, a degenerative muscle disease that usually begins in childhood and has no known cure. It is caused by a faulty gene that leads to progressive muscle weakness, with death often occurring around age 25. Rather than trying to fix or replace the broken gene, SU9516 ramps up the muscle repair process, helping reinforce muscle structure.

NCATS Chemical Genomics Center Acting Branch Chief Juan Marugan, Ph.D., and UNR Med Professor of Pharmacology Dean Burkin, Ph.D., led a team that screened more than 350,000 compounds to find SU9516, which had been previously developed as a treatment for leukemia. The research demonstrated that this compound improved muscle function in both laboratory and animal DMD models. The results, published recently in Molecular Therapy, may provide a promising approach against the disorder and other muscle-wasting conditions.

Learn more about this potential new treatment for DMD…

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University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine in the News

New coroner to lead strapped LA County morgue after stints in New York, San Diego

• Los Angeles Daily News

Lucas also served as a medical examiner for New York City’s Office of Chief Medical Examiner, where he performed 548 forensic autopsies, the CEO noted. He holds a medical degree from the University of Nevada School of Medicine and a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from UC Riverside.

Volunteers learn how to 'stop the bleed'

• KTNV Ch. 13

Dr. Douglas Fraser is Chief of Trauma Surgery and an assistant professor at The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. He was a part of team helping teach a "Stop The Bleed" training course.

Marine Vet and Doctor Fight Assisted Suicide in Nevada

• Free Beacon

Dr. Brian Callister, an associate professor at the University of Nevada-Reno School of Medicine, said that he decided to speak out on the issue after reaching out to insurance companies in California and Oregon to transfer two patients to other hospitals in order to receive life-saving treatment. The episode is now the focus of a campaign ad issued by opponents of assisted suicide.

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The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine 2016-17 fact sheet provides at-a-glance data and the latest summaries on the School's educational, patient care, research, community outreach and economic impacts.

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