About: Dr. Kathryn Wagner is the director of the Center for Genetic Muscle Disorders at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and a Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Dr. Wagner focuses her laboratory and clinical research on developing methods to promote muscle regeneration. A major emphasis has been on modulating myostatin, a potent regulator of muscle growth. Dr. Wagner and her colleagues have shown that myostatin inhibition improves several of the features of the dystrophic mdx mouse model and that loss of myostatin in humans is associated with increased muscle mass. Furthermore, Dr. Wagner’s laboratory has shown that inhibition of myostatin stimulates muscle stem cells, dramatically improving muscle regeneration while reducing fibrosis.
Her work, as well as others in the field, has led to development of myostatin inhibitors by several pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Wagner was the principal investigator of a clinical trial of one such inhibitor of myostatin, MYO-029 developed by Wyeth, in adults with muscular dystrophy. Myostatin inhibition with novel pharmacologic agents is a current goal of Dr. Wagner’s research for Duchenne and Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy.