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Department of Biological Sciences

Dr. Rekha Patel awarded a grant from the Collaborative Center for X-Linked Dystonia-Parkinsonism

X-linked Dystonia-Parkinsonism (XDP) is an adult-onset, genetic movement disorder that affects individuals descending from the Philippine Island of Panay. It is a neurodegenerative disease that evolves over the course of many years, resulting in significant disability and a shortened life span. The Collaborative Center for X-Linked Dystonia-Parkinsonism at Massachusetts General Hospital is an international consortium of scientists, physicians and advocates working to advance research and clinical care for people with XDP. Dr. Rekha Patel, professor in our department, was just awarded a one year, $100,000 grant to support a research project title "Investigating RNA- and RNA-binding protein mediated toxicity in iPSC-derived XDP cell culture models to potentially identify shared mechanisms with other dystonia types and neurodegenerative diseases". Funding will support studies aimed at exploring the involvement of PKR activation in the neurodegeneration observed in XDP brains using XDP derived neuronal progenitor cells. The kinase PKR is likely to be activated by an aberrant transcript derived from a transposon insertion in TAF1 gene causing XDP. Congrats!

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