$250,000 Research Grant to Dr. Christian Lorson, University of Missouri

We are thrilled to announce a $250,000 research grant to Dr. Christian Lorson and his research team at University of Missouri. This grant will be jointly funded with our friends in the fight, FightSMA.

The award will directly support Dr. Lorson’s work to increase production of Survival Motor Neuron (SMN), a protein that is critical for muscle strength in persons diagnosed with SMA. Specifically, the funds will be used to move Dr. Lorson's promising anti-sense oligonucleotide (ASO) drug...


2016 Emerging Investigator Awards Program

We're excited to announce our 2016 Emerging Investigator Awards program! We launched the EIA program in 2013 with FightSMA to fill a void in the SMA research community by directly inspiring and funding a new generation of SMA researchers in the early stages of their careers. In just three years the EIA program has awarded over $500,000 in funding to 12 researchers working on 12 unique SMA programs at 12 different institutions around the world. This program has been extremely well received by...


$30,000 Targeted Research Grant Funds SMA Celecoxib Clinical Trial

We're excited to announce a targeted research grant to Dr. Alex MacKenzie of Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute (CHEO). The $30,000 grant will directly fund an open-label, dose response clinical trial in Canada investigating the effect of low-dose Celecoxib in patients with SMA type II and III.

Although there is no treatment for SMA, research from the bench to the bedside is extremely mature and there are several promising potential therapeutics currently working...


$58,750 Research Grant To Dr. Lyndsay Murray

In partnership with FightSMA, we're thrilled to announce a $58,750 SMA research grant to Dr. Lyndsay Murray, the University of Edinburgh. We've awarded Dr. Murray four grants since 2013 -- one independently and three in collaboration with FightSMA -- and we're excited to further support her lab and very exciting work. Dr. Murray received two grants in 2013, $25,000 and $62,500, through our Emerging Investigator Awards program and a $10,000 targeted scholarship grant in 2014 to put more hands...


$58,750 Research Grant To Dr. Kevin Foust

In partnership with FightSMA, we're thrilled to announce a $58,750 SMA research grant to Dr. Kevin Foust, The Ohio State University. This is our second grant to Dr. Foust and we're excited to further support his important work. We granted Dr. Foust $25,000 in 2013 as part of our Emerging Investigator Awards program. Further, his program was published in Human Molecular Genetics in May 2015.

Kevin's work focuses on an area that impacts many living with SMA (including Gwendolyn) -- severe...


$10,000 Targeted Grant to Dr. Allison Ebert

We're proud to announce a $10,000 targeted research grant to Dr. Allison Ebert, Medical College of Wisconsin, to directly fund the purchase of a high resolution Nikon imaging system for her microscope to aid in the analysis and publication of her important work on spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), Parkinson's, and ALS. Dr. Ebert's exciting work focuses primarily on studying the role of astrocytes in SMA pathology. She uses patient derived induced pluripotent stem cells (those derived from skin...


SMA Community Grants

The next grant cycle will begin in the Fall of 2018. You can still apply now so your application can be reviewed.

At theGSF, we fully understand how life-altering a Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) diagnosis can be. It impacts every aspect of life -- and the SMA journey can be extremely challenging. Specifically financially.

There is a common belief that health insurance and other resources (federal, state, local) jump to the rescue to cover all costs associated with a diagnosis as severe as...


Gwendolyn Strong Foundation Research Scholarship

Here at the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation, we are dedicated to continually assessing the research landscape and listenting to the needs of researchers in an effort to create unique solutions to fill the voids in the SMA research community. In October 2014, we created the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation Research Scholarship to help fill one such void by putting more dedicated hands in SMA research labs. SMA research is mature at every level and the momentum is palpable. But there is a lack of...


Donated 10 iPads to Santa Barbara Children’s Hospital

In October 2014, we proudly donated 10 iPads to Cottage Children’s Hospital at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital (SBCH). The 10 iPads will be made available to all children seeking treatment in the Acute Pediatrics Unit, the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to help make their hospitalization a little easier through entertainment, education, and communication.

We think Gwendolyn sums it up best:

“I know what it’s like to be in the hospital. It’s...


{Infographic} Boy Meets Girl

This is SMA. And this is our story.

Two people have a chance meeting while out one night. They hit it off. They go on a first date. They fall deeply in love. Get married. And start a family.

Neither of them knows they both carry the gene responsible for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the leading genetic killer of young children. They only learn about SMA after their child is diagnosed. With every pregnancy, their children will have a 25% chance of being born with this brutal degenerative,...


Project Mariposa

"Project Mariposa" is an initiative of the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation (theGSF) with a simple mission: to make the world more accessible to those with severe disabilities through iPad technology grants. Mariposa is butterfly in Spanish -- theGSF's signature symbol -- and like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, Project Mariposa will help those with disabilities to spread their wings.

In 2012 theGSF implemented the first initiative in its Project Mariposa technology grant program --...


“Say Hi! AAC” iPad Communication App

"Say Hi! AAC" is an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and navigation iPad application that brings the world of basic communication to people with severe physical disabilities, limited movement, and/or challenged dexterity.

Install Say Hi! AAC on your iPad and create pages with groups of words or phrase boxes. A page can contain up to nine boxes and a box can have any combination of words, phrases, pictures, or recorded sounds. It's completely customizable to suit your...


$200K For SMA—Phase Two | Funding the pre-clinical sma model

On the heels of the success of the "$200K For SMA -- Phase One" campaign, in March 2011 theGSF launched "$200K For SMA -- Phase Two" to fund the first ever SMA pre-clinical animal model. theGSF once again enthusiastically partnered with FightSMA and their esteemed scientific advisory board to fund groundbreaking research that will impact many facets of SMA research, including gene therapy, for years to come.

So, what will be funded through the $200K For SMA -- Phase Two commitment? >> We'll...



Run, bike, swim, climb… whether this is your first athletic event or you are a seasoned pro, we welcome all athletes to move their bodies so one day those with SMA can too. Any race, game or event can turn into an opportunity to raise funds for theGSF's research and support programs when you join our team. We are continually inspired by those who push their physical...

This is SMA.

"This is SMA." is an ongoing effort by theGSF with the simple goal of answering that first What is SMA? question in a visual and relatable way that leaves an impact.

theGSF created the This Is SMA. campaign in 2009 and have used a variety of tools to put a face to this brutal disease and create more understanding about who children with SMA are beyond statistics. theGSF utilizes targeted, blunt messaging to reach a broad global audience through unique social media campaigns. As part of this...


SMA Headlines | SMA. News. In. One. Place.

In October 2010, theGSF launched an extremely simple project -- "SMA Headlines" -- and that’s exactly what it is. Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) news from across the globe organized and shared from one website.
For such a little known disease, we’ve always been shocked by the number of SMA articles that are published every single day around the world. But, we’ve also been frustrated that there isn’t one place that we can find access to those stories or go back to search or peruse the...