PICTURED ABOVE: Joshua Wesalo presents at CSC for a GM3 Family Education Day, 2014
New hope and collaborative support for a devastating neurological disorder
Strasburg, PA – Two years ago, Dr. Michael Tiemeyer from the University of Georgia visited CSC for a family meeting about GM3 synthase deficiency, a devastating neurological disorder found in the Old Order Amish population.
CSC was already managing several patients suffering from GM3 and was working with several other collaborators in hopes of finding a life-giving therapy. Tiemeyer’s team at the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center had sophisticated methods for measuring ganglioside levels that would help advance the research. Tiemeyer and his colleagues were quick to offer their help, and families were grateful for this new hope.
As research on GM3 synthase deficiency continued, Tiemeyer contacted Dr. Strauss about a pending grant application with the W. M. Keck Foundation. Professor Tiemeyer wanted to include CSC in the application as a collaborative partner, and Dr. Strauss wrote a letter of support for Tiemeyer’s work.
In January, the W. M. Keck Foundation awarded the $1.8 million grant to Tiemeyer and his colleagues, which includes $120,000 for CSC’s collaborative efforts.
“Dr. Tiemeyer and the team at the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center are generous collaborators in an effort to more effectively treat GM3 synthase deficiency. Partners like Dr. Tiemeyer extend the scope of our research in ways that help patient and families, while adding real support to the operation of CSC,” says Dr. Strauss. “As a small nonprofit serving a vulnerable community, we are fortunate to have such a diverse and talented network of collaborators like Dr. Tiemeyer and his colleagues at the University of Georgia.”
GM3 synthase deficiency remains a difficult disease for many families, but CSC has built lasting relationships and avenues of support to continue this important work.
About the Keck Foundation
Based in Los Angeles, the W. M. Keck Foundation was established in 1954 by the late W. M. Keck, founder of the Superior Oil Company. The Foundation’s grant making is focused primarily on pioneering efforts in the areas of medical, science and engineering research. The Foundation also maintains an undergraduate education program that promotes distinctive learning and research experiences for students in the sciences and in the liberal arts, and a Southern California Grant Program that provides support for the Los Angeles community, with a special emphasis on children and youth from low-income families, special needs populations and safety-net services. For more information, please visit www.wmkeck.org.