Brian Clarke, PhD, Musculoskeletal


Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Our lab is focused on developing therapies for some of the world’s most devastating muscular dystrophies and neuromuscular diseases including DM1, FSHD and ALS. We employ state of the art technologies in order to dissect the pathways and underlying causes of disease pathology as a method of gaining insight into ways of treating disorders and then develop the medicines to help patients. Modeling of these diseases is critical to our success and through patient derived cellular systems and in vivo models, we craft molecular and pathological readouts that enable the drug discovery efforts. Novartis is able to harness a vast array of therapeutic options including small molecules, biologics as well as gene therapies. With over 20 years of experience in both biotechnology and pharmaceutical drug development I have learned to generate creative solutions to answer fundamental questions of biology and our lab is supported by a vast infrastructure of groups dedicated to next generation sequencing, genetic and small molecule screening, protein analytics and transgenic animal development.

For many of the genetically caused disorders within our focus, gene therapy may provide an effective treatment and even a cure. We are exploring such therapies using AAV mediated delivery. In addition to identifying and developing therapeutic molecules suitable for delivery to patients, we are engaged in the study of payload packaging and capsid engineering aimed at developing more effective ways of delivering these life-saving medicines.

Selected Publications

Protein kinase A activation inhibits DUX4 gene expression in myotubes from patients with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy
Cruz JM, Hupper N, Wilson LS, Concannon JB, Wang Y, Oberhauser B, Patora-Komisarska K, Zhang Y, Glass DJ, Trendelenburg AU, Clarke BA.
J Biol Chem 2018 Jul 27;293(30):11837-11849.

Genomic and proteomic profiling reveals reduced mitochondrial function and disruption of the neuromuscular junction driving rat sarcopenia
Ibebunjo C, Chick JM, Kendall T, Eash JK, Li C, Zhang Y, Vickers C, Wu Z, Clarke BA, Shi J, Cruz J, Fournier B, Brachat S, Gutzwiller S, Ma Q, Markovits J, Broome M, Steinkrauss M, Skuba E, Galarneau JR, Gygi SP, Glass DJ.
Mol Cell Biol. 2013 Jan;33(2):194-212.

The E3 Ligase MuRF1 degrades myosin heavy chain protein in dexamethasone-treated skeletal muscle
Clarke BA, Drujan D, Willis MS, Murphy LO, Corpina RA, Burova E, Rakhilin SV, Stitt TN, Patterson C, Latres E, Glass DJ.B-cell receptor signaling in lymphoid malignancies and autoimmunity.
Cell Metab. 2007 Nov;6(5):376-85.

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