Posts by: Isaura Santos

Isaura Santos graduated with a BS in Cell and Molecular Biology from Universidade Nova de Lisboa and a MA in Communication, Culture and Information Technologies from University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL). Her professional interests include science communication, public awareness of science and communication of science through entertainment.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) has recently added to its research team an expert in neurological diseases in order to enhance and improve its healthcare service programs. MDA has hired Lianna R. Orlando, Scientific Program Officer who comes to MDA from Fidelity Biosciences Research Initiative.

There at Fidelity, she was the Associate Director and she oversaw the funding of several research projects concerning neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease and then hosted and organized scientific conferences. Before being at Fidelity, she was at the Massachusetts General Hospital as a junior faculty member and her work was focused on neurodegeneration and glutamate receptors. While completing her PhD at Harvard University she received an additional masters in Medicine from the Harvard Medical School due to her will of better understand human pathophysiology and more efficiently translate her findings to the humans diseases’ treatment. At MDA, she will be managing the grant portfolios for muscles diseases such as congenital myopathies, myotonic dystrophy and mitochondrial myopathies.

“As we continue to build a powerful research team here at MDA, we are lucky to have Lianna be a part of it. She brings an incredible amount of expertise to the field of research development in the neurological space. MDA remains committed to pursuing lifesaving discoveries and I’m looking forward to working with Lianna and the team to ensure that MDA continues to prioritize progress for the families we serve and the larger research community,” said Valerie Cwik, MDA Executive Vice President and Scientific Officer and Chief Medical.

Lianna and the MDA team will accelerate new discoveries that might lead to cures and treatments for neuromuscular and motor neuron conditions.

MDA will refocus its research investments; start new partnerships and more clinical trials; ameliorate care services and open new channels where those with the diseases can seek for support. The last year, MDA funded over 290 research projects in 17 countries.

“I am thrilled to join MDA at such an exciting time, when research is taking center stage. MDA has had a hand in nearly every in neuromuscular disease research breakthrough, and I look forward to applying my experience supporting research efforts in other areas to help the MDA continue to achieve its mission,” Orlando noted.

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