One of the most exciting and rewarding activities of the MGF of Illinois is sponsoring research projects for the treatment and potential cure of MG. Many projects have been conducted in the past and more are planned for the coming years.
In 2014, MGF of Illinois awarded research grants for two one-year pilot projects. David P. Richman, M.D., University of California, Davis, is conducting a study called "Monoclonal Antibody Treatment of Anti-MuSK Myasthenia." Dr. Betty Soliven, M.D., University of Chicago, is conducting a study titled "Regulatory B Cells in Myasthenia Gravis."
These research projects were chosen for funding because they represent areas where preliminary data are lacking. They also represent unique, novel ideas that may open significant new avenues of research on MG.
In 2010, MGF of Illinois funded the research pilot project, "Treating MG by Complement siRNA Gene Silencing," led by Dr. P. Christadoss at the University of Texas Medical Center. An expanded study has since qualified for MDA funding. The goal of this research is to create a gene therapy that attacks autoimmune diseases like MG in a more specific way, while minimizing side effects.
An invitation for 2015 research funding will go out to the medical community in early fall 2014.
Additionally, the Mary B. Prokop grant was established when Mary Prokop,a Naperville homemaker and a volunteer at Naperville's Family Services, left a substantial bequest to MGF of Illinois. Mary passed away on April 23, 2001. Mrs. Prokop specified that her bequest be used for research.
Today, the funds from the Prokop grant, combined with donations from individuals, corporations and bequests enable MGF of Illinois to continue funding research for:
- Improving MG treatment
- Discovering the cause of MG
- Achieving a cure
MGF if Illinois also provided financial support to the International Conference on Nervous System Autoimmunity held January, 2012, in Bangalore, India.
A primary goal of the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of Illinois is to directly fund medical research leading to a cure for MG. MGF of Illinois works with its Medical Advisory Board to establish research initiatives. To donate to research, go to the Memorial / Honorary donations page of our website. After filling in your information, choose the "In honor of" option. Choose "Other" as the reason for donation and type in "Research." Fill in the notification information, and fill in the amount of your choice. Click here to donate.
Information on this page updated May 2014