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Heier Lab


Current Funding

R01HL153054: Mechanisms of corticosteroids in dystrophic cardiomyopathy

The goal of this grant is to understand the impacts of steroid signaling on dystrophic hearts and to use this information to develop improved treatments for muscular dystrophy.

P50HD090254, National Institutes of Health: Bridging pharmacodynamic biomarkers to clinical outcomes in pediatric inflammatory diseases

Our major goal is the validation of pharmacodynamic biomarker panels that will not only be of use for the management of patients treated chronically with glucocorticoids but also for the development of new anti-inflammatory drugs with improved efficacy and fewer side effects.

FED20200121: Preclinical studies in a mouse model of Becker muscular dystrophy

This is a Foundation to Eradicate Duchenne grant that helps to support preclinical drug testing for an animal model of Becker muscular dystrophy.

Past Funding

K99/R00: K99HL130035, National Institutes of Health: Mechanisms of anti-inflammation and membrane stabilization in muscular dystrophy

Glucocorticoids are among the most prescribed drugs in the world; however, they have harsh side effects and an unclear mechanism of action. This work will dissect glucocorticoid mechanisms of action to produce knowledge that leads to next-generation therapies and new standards of care for Duchenne muscular dystrophy skeletal and cardiac muscle and other disorders of inflammation or disruptions of membrane integrity.

Foundation to Eradicate Duchenne Grant: Target-defined drug responses in mdx heart and muscle

Heart failure and steroid side effects are two very important problems for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) patients and their families. We are producing a new dissociative steroidal drug for DMD with the potential to improve both heart and skeletal muscle in DMD while avoiding side effects. Our goal is to leverage recent (samples in hand) and ongoing preclinical studies with selective drugs and receptor mutant mice into target-defined biomarkers that are predictive of improved heart and muscle health.

1L40AR068727 National Institutes of Health: Mechanisms for treatment of dystrophinopathies

This NIH Award provides funding to fully repay academic loans while performing an approved research program in pediatric medical research. Research focuses on mechanisms of nuclear receptor signaling and the potential of a new ligand to treat dystrophin-deficient skeletal and heart muscle defects.

Clark Charitable Foundation Grant, Clark Charitable Foundation: Systems biology of therapeutic responses in muscular dystrophy

In orphan diseases, the decisions to move drugs from preclinical animal to human testing and to then approve drugs for clinical use are great challenges. Our goal is to use multilevel expression profiling to leverage successes in muscular dystrophy preclinical trials into a set of mechanism-defined predictive biomarkers that drive development of next-generation precision medicines and combination therapies.

Rehab Pilot Project in 5R24HD050846-10: MRI life history of muscle pathology in the mdx mouse model of muscular dystrophy

The goal is to explore the dynamic muscle disease processes in mdx muscular dystrophy mice using several non-invasive MRI imaging and NMR spectroscopy technologies to establish sensitive and objective outcome measures for muscle damage and its alleviation.

Northwestern Presidential Award, Presidential Fellowship, Northwestern University

Funded by the president of Northwestern University and awarded by the graduate school, this highly competitive award is the most prestigious fellowship awarded by Northwestern. Presidential fellows combine outstanding intellectual ability with the capacity to be future leaders in their field.