University of Minnesota Making Great Strides in Research!

This story was used with permission from the University of Minnesota.

A molecular band-aid

A bleeding heart is a metaphor.

A leaking one is a common, and often deadly, reality.

In conditions from Duchenne muscular dystrophy to heart attack and heart failure, leaky heart cells lose proteins vital to long-term survival. For University of Minnesota heart researcher Joseph Metzger, fixing these leaks is a prime concern.

He is part of a U team that has built and used molecules akin to plastic as “molecular band-aids” to repair tears in the cell membranes that enclose muscle cells, keeping those vital proteins inside. Collectively, the patches are known as poloxamers.

“The FDA has approved one form of poloxamer for clinical trials with boys who have Duchenne muscular dystrophy,” says Metzger, head of the Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology. “But [we still must secure] funds for the trials.”

Metzger’s colleagues are Frank Bates, head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, and cardiologist Demetri Yannopoulos, an assistant professor of medicine.  Continue reading

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The University of Minnesota a “powerhouse” in MD research

Congratulations to the Paul and Sheila Wellstone MD Center at the University of Minnesota for receiving three national grants from the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA)!

Learn more about the grants and the exciting research happening at the MD Center on the University’s HealthTalk blog. These new grants combine with three additional recent grants from the MDA for a total of over $2 million in current research support.

Nationally, the University of Minnesota ranks second of 222 institutions in the number of active research grants from the MDA.

All proceeds raised by the Greg Marzolf Jr. Foundation support local research for a cure at the Paul and Sheila Wellstone MD Center.

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Marzolf Symposium celebrates advances in research

Graduate and post-doctoral students from the Paul and Sheila Wellstone MD Center presented promising research

The excitement was palpable at the fourth annual Greg Marzolf Jr. Foundation Symposium as graduate and post-doctoral students presented promising findings from their research at the University of Minnesota’s Paul and Sheila Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Center. The event, held Oct. 29 at Nils Hasselmo Hall on the University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis campus, provided students with an opportunity to share and explain the updates and advancements they’ve discovered in their muscle research.  Continue reading

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Promising Results Shared at Marzolf Symposium at U of M


Presenters are joined by Dr. John Day, Dr. Joe Metzger, Pat Marzolf and Greg Marzolf, Sr.

It was standing room only at the Second Annual Marzolf Graduate Student Symposium. Held at the Paul and Sheila Wellstone MD Center on Friday, Sept. 25, 2009 at the Nils Hasselmo Hall on the University of Minnesota Campus. This half-day program gave approximately 100 medical graduate and post-doctoral students the opportunity to share their research findings and updates of diagnostic testing done in lab settings by experts in the fields of neuro-muscular and cardiac medicine.

Dr. John Day, Director of the Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Center and Professor of Neurology, welcomed the attendees enthusiastically, saying “All of these studies are inter-related and build on one another. These graduate level students are focused on muscular studies that will lead to treatment regimens that will result in improved length and quality of life for MD patients.”  Continue reading

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Grant Recipient Profile: Lisa Anne Borgia

Lisa Anne Borgia is a recipient of the Greg Marzolf Jr. Trainee award and is currently conducting muscle research on horses, which may provide beneficial
clinic information to scientists studying muscular dystrophy. She has her master’s degree in Avian Ecology from Florida International University, and a bachelor’s of science degree in Biology and a bachelor’s of science degree in Communication from Penn State. Lisa is in her last year of the PhD program in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota. She lives in Minnetrista, Minn., is married and has a 24-year-old son who is currently in law school. We asked Lisa the following questions about her research:

Q: Can you summarize your research project?

A: My research looks at the effects of dietetics (specifically oil supplementation and carbohydrate content) on horses with a neuromuscular disease called Polysaccharide Storage myopathy, as well as muscle energetics in normal horses and the effect of training on normal muscle tissue.  Continue reading

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