The University of Ottawa Centre for Neuromuscular Disease represents a multidisciplinary research and training initiative that unites world-class basic and clinical researchers working towards the common goal of diagnosing, characterizing and developing transformative therapies for patients with neuromuscular disease

Neuromuscular diseases (NMD) consist of more than 150 genetic and acquired disorders, many causing disability through progressive muscle wasting which can lead to premature death. Collectively, NMD affects over 1 million people in North America. Currently, most treatments focus on alleviating symptoms and enhancing physical mobility. Although many neuromuscular diseases were previously thought incurable, recent breakthroughs in the molecular pathogenesis of monogenic and acquired disorders are now revealing potential targets for disease-modifying therapies.

The University of Ottawa Centre for Neuromuscular Disease (CNMD) unifies a critical mass of world-renowned basic and clinical researchers dedicated to characterizing the underlying pathological mechanisms and identifying novel treatment strategies for neuromuscular disease patients. Currently, the CNMD boast over 40 researchers focusing on basic (muscle development and disease pathogenesis), translational (stem cell, small molecule discovery), as well as clinical (rare disease trials and clinical registries) research. Over the past 5 years, this group has published more than 300 manuscripts in high-impact peer-reviewed journals such as Nature, Cell, Cell Stem Cell, Journal of Cell Biology, and PNAS, and secured more than $60M in external research funding.

As a member of the University of Ottawa Brain and Mind Research Institute (uOBMRI), CNMD works closely with other researchers and stakeholders across Ottawa to advance the mission of uOBMRI of understanding and improving brain and mind health as it relates to those affected by neuromuscular disease.


To advance understanding of neuromuscular and related disorders and enhance human health through the development and implementation of novel therapies for neuromuscular diseases.



  • Lead cutting-edge, world-class research focused on basic and clinical neuromuscular function and dysfunction
  • Promote excellence in translational and multidisciplinary NMD research
  • Unite basic science and clinical researchers to increase valuable collaborations for advancing NMD research and to rapidly move promising therapies into the clinic


  • Provide an innovative and broad-based NMD training program, ranging from basic discovery to clinical application
  • Deliver a highly-collaborative, exceptional training environment for the next generation of basic and clinician scientists dedicated to NMD research
  • Connect with patient outreach and other community groups to teach about NMD and the value of NMD research


  • Develop solid research networks between University of Ottawa scientists and clinicians and increase the capacity to compete for external research funding
  • Represent the neuromuscular community within the decision making structures of government and granting agencies
  • Serve as a catalyst to consolidate neuromuscular research across Canada and world-wide.

Your support enables us to advance promising new neuromuscular disease research programs, train future generations of physicians and scientists, and share our knowledge with the community.

Click to donate to our neuromuscular disease research programs

For more information on the University of Ottawa Centre for Neuromuscular Disease contact CNMD@uottawa.ca

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