New Year, Same Resolve

Accelerating progress in 2015 — and beyond

by Steven M. Derks on January 5, 2015 - 9:01am

Quest Winter 2015

MDA’s resolve and action steps to accelerate progress on behalf of our families fighting muscle disease has never been greater. People fighting these difficult diseases are depending on MDA to fulfill our mission to save and improve their lives. 

To most effectively help our families, MDA must be very intentional about building on the scientific and medical progress we have led for the past 54 years. We are taking specific steps to leverage our and others’ research investments toward finding treatments and cures.

Steven M. Derks

I’m proud to announce that under the leadership of Dr. Grace Pavlath, MDA’s senior vice president and scientific program director, we will implement enhanced research strategies to help move more drugs and potential therapies from the lab to the living room. 

This month, we will be receiving research grant applications from across the globe on key areas of promise as we continue to nurture young research and clinical talent. We are repositioning our investment in innovative research and will be more intentional about collaborating with others aligned with our strategies. Additionally, we will be looking to enhance the research capabilities of our clinic partners as more drugs and therapies become ready for human trials.   

What does this mean for you, our families? We want more drugs moving out of the lab, through FDA approval and to you and your loved ones. And we want to do all we can to bolster improved clinical care and encourage our families, when appropriate, to participate in trials at our MDA clinics.

As you’ll see in the pages of Quest, on and on our social media pages, our families continue to fuel our mission. To truly leverage all the progress MDA has helped create, we continue to rely heavily on our partnership with you. When you consider your resolutions for what you want to accomplish in 2015, take a minute to focus on the many ways you can engage with MDA — for you, your family, friends and loved ones. Consider registering for one of our Muscle Walks — the largest and most powerful community-building event of its kind to create hope and progress in muscle disease research and care. Signing up is easy at

With your help, we can ensure that the urgent pace of muscle disease research continues, that medical care improves and that support and resources for those fighting one of our 43 diseases are always available. To those that are already engaged and leading our efforts, thank you. We ask that you join with us to invite others to the playing field for what promises to be a remarkable era of therapy development and improved care. 

My very best wishes to you and your families for a healthy and joyful 2015. Together, we are progress.

Steven M. Derks
President and CEO
Muscular Dystrophy Association

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