PPMD Awards $200,000 Grant to Joshua Selsby, PhD of Iowa State University

Quercetin /ˈkwɜːrstn/ is a flavonol found in many fruits, vegetables, leaves and grains. It can be used as an ingredient in supplements, beverages, or foods. Source: Wikipedia


Today, the day after World Duchenne Awareness Day, PPMD is pleased to announce funding for research on a nutritional supplement, quercetin – a supplement that some of you may already be familiar with or even taking.


While it may not sound as novel or exciting as a newly minted biologic or small molecule, quercetin may have a strong impact. In fact, there is evidence to suggest it does. And wouldn’t it be nice to have some results in an animal model to clarify this? It is believed that quercetin affects heart muscle through a different pathway than ace inhibitors. This grant will study the results of the two compounds taken together. Dr. Joshua Selsby, of Iowa State University, has many years of experience studying the effects of quercetin in mdx mice and we are happy to provide support so he can continue his work.


In this project, we want to shed more light on this compound to determine its potential for cardio-protection and ability to keep muscles healthy. Coming to a conclusive determination of a substance’s usefulness can takes years of studies, in both animals and humans, as our community is well aware of. So this is one more step in understanding quercetins effectiveness and gives us more information about next steps. We believe in the potential of this supplement and thank Dr. Selsby and his team for their dedication to this community and our fight to end Duchenne.


*As always, remember that taking a drug or a supplement is a personal decision which we encourage you to consider with your physician and caregivers input.

Read the Press Release: 

Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy Awards Iowa State University $200,000 Grant 

Grant Supports Study of Quercetin-based Therapy in Dystrophic Muscle


Hackensack, NJ – XXX, 2016 – Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD), a nonprofit organization leading the fight to end Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Duchenne), announced today plans to award Joshua Selsby, PhD of Iowa State University with a $200,000 grant to continue the study of the effects of quercetin-based therapy on dystrophic muscle.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most common fatal genetic disorder diagnosed in childhood, affecting approximately one in every 5,000 live male births. Almost all Duchenne patients develop heart problems with many using lisinopril, a known cardioprotector for dystrophic heart muscle. Dr. Selsby is exploring the potential benefit of combining lisinopril with quercetin to see if the two compounds in combination would be more effective than either alone. Quercetin impacts muscle, including heart muscle, via a different pathway than lisinopril. This grant will support a study to see if the two compounds together could achieve synergistic effects.

“Addressing cardiac issues in Duchenne, as well as the potential of combined therapies, continue to be priorities of PPMD. Dr. Selsby and his team at Iowa State University are exploring the potential of enhancing supplements already in use by patients in our community and we are excited by the early results. PPMD believes it will take a combination of therapies to end Duchenne and we applaud Dr. Selsby’s innovative approach,” said Abby Bronson, Senior Vice President of Research Strategy for PPMD.

Dr. Selsby will treat dystrophic mice with quercetin alone, lisinopril alone, and a combination of the two and follow the mice for 12 months.  After 12 months, he will compare the effects on skeletal muscle, cardiac, and respiratory function of the individual agents and in combination.

“Duchenne muscular dystrophy is truly a multifaceted disease that will likely require a cocktail approach to mitigate its severity,” said Selsby. “This support from PPMD will allow us a unique opportunity to compare the individual and combined effects of two relatively common compounds taken by Duchenne patients. PPMD’s support for research is important in helping us explore compounds with the potential for immediate impacts and application to patients suffering from Duchenne.”

It is expected that by giving quercetin in combination with lisinopril, respiratory and cardiac function will be improved as well as in vitro muscle function and histological measures of injury in heart and skeletal muscle. Given previous findings, it is anticipated that all treatments will provide some degree of protection to the myocardium, but this project hopes to demonstrate that by using both together, there is an even greater effect on heart.

To learn more about PPMD’s extensive research portfolio, please visit ParentProjectMD.org.

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