About the Lab
The Fiorillo Laboratory has a strong focus on Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a progressive muscle-wasting disease caused by the absence of dystrophin protein. To restore dystrophin, a personalized medicine approach called exon skipping has been given conditional approval for treatment of DMD patients. However, the amount of dystrophin restoration that occurs through exon skipping is inconsistent and patchy. In our laboratory, we employ a variety of techniques to understand and improve dystrophin rescue in DMD. This includes investigating microRNAs that target and downregulate dystrophin, understanding the crosstalk between muscle and the immune system, determining how a secondary dystrophin deficiency might impact other muscle disorders and characterizing novel models of microRNA deletion that may affect the pathophysiology of muscle disorders.
In our lab, the major prerequisite is that you are passionate about researching muscle disease and are excited and willing to learn whatever techniques and concepts are necessary to move your project forward! We believe that everyone deserves to be respected and that each member of the team brings a unique perspective to our research. Our lab success is dependent not only on the quality of our research but also on the work ecosystem that each member helps create. We believe that it is impossible to do good science unless you are happy and fulfilled in your personal life, and therefore a healthy work-life balance will contribute to your long-term scientific success and happiness.
Right before Alyson Fiorillo, Ph.D., started graduate school, she volunteered at a Muscular Dystrophy Association Summer Camp where she worked with hundreds of kids with muscular dystrophies and other neuromuscular disorders. This experience forever changed her life. It single-handedly changed the course of her research career, one in which she is committed, passionate and unwavering toward the goal of finding viable therapeutics to improve the lives of kids with muscle diseases.