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NIH Awards $1 Million to Ataxia Research

Thanks NAF Donors for Helping Make It Possible

In 2015, Miao Zhang, Ph.D. was early in his career on the Ataxia research scene, but he had a strong desire to look for answers. He applied for a Young Investigator Grant from the National Ataxia Foundation to help get his project started. Dr. Zhang said the grant “helped me establish my new lab, led me to new findings that resulted in new publications.”

From there, Dr. Zhang was able to learn about the structural makeup of Ataxia that may lead to new Ataxia treatments. Fast forward to 2017 – Dr. Zhang, a junior faculty member of Chapman University School of Pharmacy, was awarded a $1,059,867 grant by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for his Ataxia research. This grant will allow him to continue looking for the underlying causes of Ataxia. He says that SK ion channels have been associated with Ataxia in past studies, but their exact role is not yet known. Finding that role could be the key to treatments and drug development in the future – a future that NIH just invested in supporting with their IGNITE (R21/R33) grant to Dr. Zhang.

At a pivotal moment in his research, Dr. Miao Zhang took the time to write a letter of thanks to YOU – supporters and donors of NAF. Why? Because you helped get the ball rolling. An important part of the process that is not lost on Dr. Zhang. He says he would not have been able to establish his lab or perform the research project that led to the IGNITE grant without NAF. He writes, “I would like to thank the donors of the National Ataxia Foundation who provide the research grant funds. I will continue my research in the hope of finding a cure for ataxia.”

Read Dr. Zhang’s Full Letter (links to PDF)

Giant leaps in Ataxia research come from the small steps made in our Ataxia community. We come together to fight this disease – we will celebrate together when it is defeated! Thanks for your help – which gives NAF the ability to support researchers.

Read More About the NIH Grant

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