University of Illinois Researcher Receives $240,000 for Myasthenia Gravis Research

Grant Funded by American Brain Foundation and Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America

NEW ORLEANS – A University of Illinois at Chicago researcher is the recipient of a $240,000 research grant to further explore the causes of myasthenia gravis, a neurologic disease affecting muscles. Qin Li Jiang, MD, will receive the award today in New Orleans from the American Brain Foundation (formerly the American Academy of Neurology Foundation) and the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America during the American Academy of Neurology’s Annual Meeting, the world’s largest meeting of neurologists. The grant will allow Jiang to carry out research on a type of immune cell called regulatory T lymphocyte, or Treg, and its role in a variety of autoimmune diseases, such as myasthenia gravis. She will perform research under the mentorship of Matthew Meriggioli, MD, a renowned neurologist and expert in myasthenia gravis. The three-year award will consist of an annual salary of $75,000 plus $5,000 in educational expenses per year to support the clinician scientist's research related to myasthenia gravis. The American Brain Foundation/Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America Clinician-Scientist Development Fellowship is designed to encourage clinical research with the goal of providing better treatment, prevention or cure for the disorder. Clinical research is the fundamental transition stage between discovery and treatment. Clinical research provides the scientific basis for all forms of care, addresses patient and caregiver needs and is the backbone for drug development and cost-effectiveness studies needed to improve lives. Fellowships provide recipients with up to three years of “protected time” with salary, which allows them to continue important research projects in their chosen interests. Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune neuromuscular disease in which the communication between nerve and muscle is interrupted at the neuromuscular junction—the site where nerve and muscle meet. Common symptoms are a drooping eyelid, blurred or double vision, slurred speech, difficulty chewing and swallowing, chronic muscle fatigue and difficulty breathing. Myasthenia gravis is thought to affect 20 out of every 100,000 people worldwide.

The American Brain Foundation, the foundation of the American Academy of Neurology, supports vital research & education to discover causes, improved treatments, and cures for brain and other nervous system diseases. Learn more at or find us on Facebook. The Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (MGFA) is the only national volunteer health agency in the United States dedicated solely to the fight against myasthenia gravis. For more information, visit The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 26,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, concussion, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.


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