Phoenix Fox Research Fellowship

Education, the most important gift you can receive in life, is the basis of the Phoenix Fox Research Fellowship.

As someone once said, you can give a man a fish and feed him for a day or teach a man to fish and feed him for life.

Using this simple principle we have decided that it is research that will not only help Phoenix one day but all the millions of people in the world who have diseases that not only control their lives but threaten them as well.

The Phoenix Fox Research Fellowship was established January 8th 2007. Its sole purpose is to raise money to help fund research for a multitude of neuromuscular diseases. Our primary recipient is Dr. Barry Byrne at the University of Florida. Dr. Byrne is a brilliant Molecular biologist / Pediatric Cardiologist who has been working on Pompe since the early 90’s. In particular, he has been working on gene therapy to treat different diseases but mostly Pompe disease. The Powell Gene Therapy Center at UF is his home base and primary place of operation.

photoWhile there have been variables in the Gene Therapy approach over the years the primary principal has remained largely the same. The goal is to use a type of virus that has had its DNA payload modified to match the missing or defective DNA of the patient. The virus is then inserted into the body through I.V. or other means. Then, using the mechanisms that have given viruses the ability to trasduce the human body for millions of years, these viruses are able to get inside the cell and deposit the modified DNA without harm to the cell or the existing DNA In the cell. This “new” DNA is then read by the cell’s protein building system and begins to manufacture the enzymes that Phoenix and so many other people are missing.

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