Dr. Wang
Dr. Ching Wang, M.D., Ph.D.
Hope and Light Foundation Medical Director
Assoc. Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics
Stanford University Medical Center

Basic Science

SMA sufferers received their first glimpse of hope for a cure in 1995. Researchers pinpointed a gene on chromosome 5 that was missing or defective in 95% of all SMA cases. This gene is known as the Survival Motor Neuron (SMN) and it is crucial in creating the proteins necessary for motor neuron survival.

With the proper funding, researchers can focus their efforts toward increasing SMN protein levels through new drugs and gene therapies.

Researchers at The National Institute of Health have selected SMA as the prototype for their accelerated drug discovery effort, singled out as the condition closest to treatment out of 600 neurological diseases.

Funded Research

Since 2006, The Hope and Light Foundation has helped fund a drug trial for SMA Type I at Stanford University Medical Center under the direction of Dr. Ching Wang. As a leading researcher on SMA, Dr. Wang is the first to conduct an FDA approved clinical trial using a drug called hydroxyurea in children with SMA.

In 2008, Dr. Wang began serving as Medical Director for the Hope and Light Foundation. He brings years of knowledge and expertise from both the clinic and the research lab.

Preliminary data from the Hydroxyurea Trial:

The effect of hydroxyurea in spinal muscular atrophy cells and patients. Liang WC, Yuo CY, Chang JG, Chen YC, Chang YF, Wang HY, Ju YH, Chiou SS, Jong YJ J Neurol Sci. 2008 May 15;268(1-2):87-94.

Hydroxyurea enhances SMN2 gene expression in spinal muscular atrophy cells. Grzeschik SM, Ganta M, Prior TW, Heavlin WD, Wang CH. Ann Neurol. 2005 Aug;58(2):194-202.

Clinical Trials

To learn more about Stanford Neurology. (click here)

For a complete list of Spinal Muscular Atrophy clinical trials: (click here).

For general information about children participating in a drug trial: (click here).