New Partnership to Benefit Neuromuscular Researchers

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For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Toronto, Canada – Muscular Dystrophy Canada and the Starratt Family Foundation are joining forces to ensure that Canadian researchers have more funds available to invest in neuromuscular research. The Starratt Family Foundation is investing $50,000 into the Seed Grant Program delivered by Muscular Dystrophy Canada. This will bring the total funds available to $300,000.

The intent of the Seed Grant Program is to solicit research proposals related to neuromuscular diseases, specifically proposals that are not entirely focused on a single disorder, but are relevant to several of the 150 plus disorders covered by Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

“We are excited to be partnering with Muscular Dystrophy Canada on the Seed Grant Program and to take advantage of both their Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee and their rich tradition in funding catalyst grants”, Mark Starratt, Chairperson for the Board of the Starratt Family Foundation. “This is an important first step on a transformational journey to benefit advances for those with neuromuscular disease.”

The Starratt Family Foundation is working to advance education and research for all kinds of neuromuscular diseases, including muscular dystrophy and ALS. In only a few years, the foundation has raised more than $300,000 in support of research and programs like the Canadian Neuromuscular Disease Registry housed at the University of Calgary; however, the foundation is looking to raise money that will help make a difference for the thousands of Canadians who suffer from these incurable diseases.

“We are thrilled with our new partnership with The Starratt Family Foundation. Two like-minded organizations working together is beneficial for the research community and, ultimately, our clients and families,” commented Barbara Stead-Coyle, CEO of Muscular Dystrophy Canada. “I look forward to other exciting initiatives we will be working on together in the future.”

Launched in 2012, the Seed Grant Program continues to demonstrate meaningful impact. Originally focused on respiratory care, this year’s program will be broader in scope. Recent consultations with our key stakeholders reiterated the need for an increased investment in research focusing on:

  • Treatments and cures
  • Decreasing secondary health conditions
  • Understanding of the impact of community care policies on quality of life and the promotion of integrated living
  • Improving quality of life through use of assistive technology
  • Understanding the financial cost of living with a neuromuscular disorder
  • Determining the benefits of exercise
  • Understanding psychosocial behavior

The competition was launched in April 2017 with a deadline for submissions of June 30, 2017. Additional details can be found at or by contacting Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

Applications will be awarded through a competitive peer-review process. Proposals will be reviewed by Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee.

About the Starratt Family Foundation

The Starratt Family Foundation was founded for the purpose of advancing education and research in the area of neuromuscular diseases. We believe that we can maximize the effectiveness of the Foundation by creating partnerships to leverage the impact of the funds provided by our donors. In addition to our main purpose, we also look for ways to support enhanced accessibility for those with disabilities.  To learn more about the Starratt Family Foundation, please visit

About Muscular Dystrophy Canada

Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s mission is to enhance the lives of those affected with neuromuscular disorders by continually working to provide ongoing support and resources while relentlessly searching for a cure through well-funded research. To learn more about Muscular Dystrophy Canada, please visit or call our toll-free number at 1-866-MUSCLE-8 (1-866-687-2538).


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Media contact information:
Barbara Stead-Coyle, CEO
Muscular Dystrophy Canada
902-429-6322 ext 4015

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