Dr. Kaalak Reddy, who is currently continuing his post-doctoral training in the lab of Dr. Andy Berglund here at the Center for NeuroGenetics, has been awarded the prestigious Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation (MDF) Fellowship. Dr. Reddy completed his Honours BSc in Genetics in 2006 at Western University in London, Canada. He went on to do a PhD degree in the lab of Dr. Christopher Pearson at the University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children from 2006-2013 followed by a postdoctoral fellow position at the University of Edinburgh in the Medical Research Council – Human Genetics Unit in the lab of Dr. Andrew Jackson. Kaalak joined the Berglund lab in September 2016.
The goal of Dr. Reddy’s research proposal, “Pre-clinical investigations of small molecule-mediated targeting of toxic RNA production in DM2” is to evaluate a novel therapeutic strategy aimed at reducing the production of toxic RNA. In collaboration with members of the Berglund and Ranum laboratories, Dr. Reddy will characterize the therapeutic properties of several small molecules that were recently shown in the Berglund lab to inhibit the production of the toxic DM1 and DM2 RNA and test the efficacy of the most promising lead compound panel in DM2 human cell and mouse models. The study will help determine if lead compounds recently identified in the Berglund laboratory can be developed as treatments for DM.
Only two MDF Fellowships are awarded each year nation wide.