Eduardo (Eddy) Rijos has been awarded a grant supplement from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). The program is designed to increase the participation of underrepresented individuals and enhance the diversity of the research workforce.
Eddy is a predoctoral student in the UF Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences (GPBMS) and works in Dr. Laura Ranum’s lab. He will receive mentorship in the investigation of the potential role of RAN proteins in Myotonic Dystrophy type 1 (DM1).
DM1 is the leading cause of adult-onset muscular dystrophy and a member of the large family of over 40+ repeat expansions diseases. While early data suggested that proteins produced by repeat-associated non-AUG (RAN) translation accumulate in DM1, the tools at that time to detect RAN proteins were not sufficiently sensitive to permit an examination of their role in disease. This proposal seeks to use newly developed tools for RAN protein detection to address if and how these proteins contribute to DM1 and if modulation of RAN translation will mitigate disease features.