Jeffrey Chamberlain, a leader in efforts to find gene therapies for muscular dystrophy, has been recruited to the UW medical faculty. A 1985 Ph.D. alumnus of the UW, he is now a professor in the Department of Neurology's Division of Neurogenetics.
Bruce McCaw, one of the founders of McCaw Cellular Communications, and his wife Jolene McCaw, earmarked a major gift to support Chamberlain's research through the national Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Chamberlain has studied the location of the Duchenne muscular dystrophy gene, and the genetic expression of dystrophin, a muscle regulator. His transgenic mice studies helped improve the understanding of the disrupted dystrophin that underlies muscular dystrophy. These studies showed for the first time that muscular dystrophy could be prevented and reversed by replacing the defective gene. Chamberlain is working on developing vectors that might deliver the missing genetic information into cells that are unable to produce dystrophin.
Chamberlain was most recently on the faculty of the University of Michigan, where he was a professor of human genetics and interim director of the Center for Gene Therapy.