ABOUT THE USHER III INITIATIVE
In 2007 a progressive research consortium called the Usher III Initiative was established in an effort to identify the cause of, and develop a cure for, Usher Syndrome Type III. The Usher III Initiative was created because no other government agency or foundation in the world is solely dedicated to finding a cure for Usher III, a disease that causes the degradation and eventual loss of two of our most important senses – hearing and sight. Since its beginning, the Initiative has been dedicated to changing the way scientific research is conducted in order to provide help for Usher III patients more quickly.
The Initiative is funding eight leading scientists in the field of retinal and cochlear research at several top universities in the United States and Europe. The Usher III Initiative team works collaboratively towards a common goal. Our team shares findings, data and other materials to advance our efforts towards a cure.
The Usher III Initiative at Work
To discover treatments for Usher III, it was important for our scientific team to learn what causes the disease. Our scientists have discovered the defective gene called Clarin1 that causes Usher III. What’s more, they learned that the specific defect that affects most Usher III patients leads to a form of Clarin1 protein that is degraded as soon as it is created.
To achieve its goal of developing a treatment to slow or reverse the vision loss associated with Usher III, the Initiative has pursued a multi-faceted approach that focuses on three critical areas: 1) Normal Clarin 1 Gene Replacement Therapy, 2) Small Molecule, Chaperone Therapy which tries to find drugs that will prevent the breakdown of defective Clarin 1 protein; and 3) Stem cell technology essentially trying to create Usher III disease in individual human cells derived from Usher III patients to look for a drug that can treat the disease in these individual cells.
Our research activities are updated in newsletters that we send to people on our mailing list and we also post the newsletters on our website (see below). If you are not on our mailing list, be sure to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add you or click on the Contact Us link in the menu! You can also receive more frequent communications from us by joining us on Facebook and/or Twitter!
December 2014: Usher III Initiative December 2014 Newsletter
Fall 2013: Usher III Initiative Fall 2013 Newsletter
December 2012: Usher III Initiative December 2012 Newsletter
Winter 2012: Usher III Initiative Winter 2012 Newsletter
Summer 2011: Usher III Initiative Summer 2011 Newsletter
December 2010: Usher III Initiative 2010 Newsletter