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Contemporary Clinic ® interviewed Donald Wood, PhD, the recently elected president and CEO of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, on muscular dystrophy research and care during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Contemporary Clinic® interviewed Donald Wood, PhD, the recently elected president and CEO of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), on muscular dystrophy research and care during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and beyond.
Alana Hippensteele: So, Dr. Wood, why is the opportunity to step into the role of president and CEO of Muscular Dystrophy Association important for you, and what is your scientific background in the muscular dystrophy field?
Donald Wood: Well, thank you, Alana, for having me on the program, and I'm pleased to be here on the program, just as I'm pleased to have been selected, and I'm honored to lead the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
I have been involved with research in muscular dystrophy for 40 years. I was at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in neurology years ago when I started research in muscular dystrophy and on these diseases. I headed up the Task Force on Genetics for the Muscular Dystrophy Association that led to the discovery of the genes underlying muscular dystrophy. I have been on the board of directors of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and now, in this time of COVID when we have all kinds of new challenges that we never had before, I was honored to be selected to help MDA through this very difficult time and continue on with a mission of which I am passionate about.
Like I say to my kids ‘I'm with Muscular Dystrophy Association until we cure these diseases.’ I started out when we didn't know anything about muscle. We've learned about how healthy muscle works. We now have learned how muscle goes awry when it's a challenged with genetic disorders, and now we are introducing treatments that have taken patients who used to die in their childhood, now they're living into adulthood, they're having careers, they're contributing. So, we've made tremendous progress over the years, and we still have a ways to go. And I'm here to help us get there.