Network Grant: 2023-2028

We are pleased to share that the NMD4C has received a network grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis which provides funding of $200 000 per year for the next five years to strengthen the care, research and treatment of neuromuscular diseases (NMDs) for all Canadians.

Building on the NMD4C’s successful work over the past three years, this new grant expands the network and unites patient partners, knowledge users, and 60 leading Canadian clinicians and researchers from across the country under an ambitious new program of research, networking, and clinical transformation to address emerging challenges in the field of NMDs. Matching funds are being provided by Canada’s leading NMD advocacy organization and partner on the grant Muscular Dystrophy Canada (MDC), for a combined total amount of $400 000 per year of network funding.

Introduction to the Network Grant

The work outlined in the new grant is divided across three pillars, spanning the stages of the translational research pathway: pre-clinical science, clinical research, and clinical practice. 

Pillar 1: Pre-Clinical Science

The network will support preclinical researchers and strengthen cutting-edge basic research through new open-science-focused mechanisms to share protocols and expertise, and exchange training in novel technologies across cutting-edge cell and animal models. The Preclinical Science pillar is divided into three tasks: Cell-based NMD Research, Animal-Based NMD Research, and Human Samples and Biobanking.

Pillar 2: Clinical Research

The network will increase clinical research capacity in Canada by developing joint research resources, upskilling and promoting Canadian trial sites towards a Canadian clinical trial network, uniting local efforts across Canada in outcome measure and natural history research and linking to international activities including advanced patient registration. The Clinical Research pillar is divided into three tasks: Clinical Trial Network, Participant Recruitment and Evidence Collection, and Outcome Measures and Natural History.

Pillar 3: Clinical Practice Research and Education

The network will work to improve NMD clinical care and access to treatment across Canada by developing a new NMD community of practice, facilitating research in post-marketing challenges including health economics, access to therapies and real-world evidence, and training and educating NMD specialists across all career levels and equipping them to apply emerging knowledge and tools. The Clinical Practice Research and Education pillar is divided into three tasks: Training and Curriculum, Community of Practice, and From Trials into Practice.

The work outlined in the new grant is divided across three pillars, spanning the stages of the translational research pathway: pre-clinical science, clinical research, and clinical practice. 

Themes

These work pillars and tasks are supplemented by five cross-cutting themes that are present throughout all network activities:

  • Early-Career Support
  • Expert Patient Capacity Building
  • Knowledge Translation and Impact Assessment
  • Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigeneity
  • Open Science

More information on each task will become available as working meetings take place throughout fall of 2023. If you are interested in becoming involved in any of the pillars, tasks or themes we want to hear from you! Please contact network manager Erin Beattie at with any questions.