Episode 39- Behind the Scenes: A Look at the Science and Research for New Treatments

In this Quest Podcast episode, we chat with geneticist, Dr. Jeffrey Chamberlain and the Chief Research Officer of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Dr. Sharon Hesterlee.  Both have devoted their time and expertise to create and move forward research and treatments for neuromuscular diseases.  Their goal is to create successful treatments and eventually a cure for those effect by neuromuscular diseases. These specialists join us to share their experiences, expertise, and advice.

Your Guests

Dr. Jeffrey Chamberlain

Dr. Jeffrey Chamberlain is a geneticist with expertise in the muscular dystrophies, and is currently a professor of neurology, medicine and biochemistry at the University of Washington School of Medicine, director of the Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Specialized Research Center, and the McCaw Endowed Chair in Muscular Dystrophy.  He is also current president of the American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy.  Research in the Chamberlain lab focuses on understanding the molecular basis of, and developing treatments for, the muscular dystrophies with a focus on gene therapy.  His group invented ‘micro-dystrophin’ and discovered that vectors derived from AAV can be used for bodywide, systemic gene delivery to muscle.  Several of his vector designs are being tested in human clinical trials for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Connect with Dr. Chamberlain:



Dr. Sharon Hesterlee

Dr. Hesterlee is Chief Research Officer of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  She has over 20 years of experience in neuromuscular research in both the nonprofit and industry space, where she has served variously as head of research, project lead and CEO.  She has been involved in numerous efforts to remove barriers to therapy development for rare disease and foster interactions between patient advocacy groups and industry. She received her Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Arizona in 1999.

Connect with Dr. Hesterlee:


Host: Mindy Henderson

Mindy Henderson is MDA’s Vice President of Disability Outreach & Empowerment & Editor-in-Chief of Quest Media, and the host of this podcast.  She was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, type 2 when she was 15 months old and has been a life-long partner to MDA.  Mindy is also a motivational speaker and a writer, and author of the book, The Truth About Things That Suck.

Connect with Mindy: 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hendersonmindy/     

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mindyhendersonspeaks/

Disclaimer: No content on this site should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. 

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