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The United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (UMDF) and its counterpart from Italy, MITOCON, have entered into a collaborative relationship that will benefit the global mitochondrial community. The agreement between the UMDF and MITOCON allows the two organizations to collaborate on the funding current and future research grants, to share information about the affected community, and to mutually participate in international meetings held by each organization.

 

The agreement paves the way for the two organizations to co-fund a research grant that was approved for funding by the UMDF's Research Grant Review Committee in May, 2012. In June, 2012, Carla Giordano, MD, PhD, from the University of Rome, was awarded a $108,000 research grant for her project, "Estrogen Mediated Regulation of Mitochondrial Biogenesis and Functions: Possible Therapeutic Implications of Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy." The agreement enables the two organizations to combine their funds and share the cost of supporting Dr. Giordano's grant. This is the first time in the history of the UMDF's Research Grant Program that a project advanced for funding by the Grant Review Committee has been shared between the UMDF and another organization.

"We are very excited about this collaboration", said Charles A. Mohan, Jr., UMDF's Executive Director/CEO. "This agreement follows a number of high level meetings UMDF has had with our counterparts across Europe. We look forward to working with a number of organizations in the future, not only on grants, but bringing together the global mitochondrial community in an effort to share our collective knowledge to better serve all in areas of support, education and research." He pointed out that the UMDF is a member of the International Mito Patients (IMP) which encourages cooperation with many European Countries. UMDF also works closely with the Australian Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (AMDF) and Mito Canada.

MITOCON was created to share the experiences of patients with mitochondrial disorders and their families, provide awareness, to find new therapies and to promote fundraising activities in Italy. UMDF's mission is to promote research and education for the treatment and cure of mitochondrial disorders, and to provide support to affected individuals and families. The UMDF provides support to thousands of affected individuals across the nation by directing them to and providing them with resources, information about mitochondrial disease, and providing referrals to physicians available to answer their questions and provide information. In 2012, the UMDF surpassed $10 million in funding research that may lead to a cure.

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