The Wicker Project at Children's National Health System honors Senator Roger Wicker, (R-Miss.) for his tireless efforts to help find a cure for muscular dystrophy. Children’s National, a leader in muscular dystrophy research, dedicated “The Wicker Project for Muscular Dystrophy Research" in a ceremony and dinner attended by more than 100 supporters, staff, and M.D. families in 2006 in Washington, D.C.
Rep. Wicker authored the Muscular Dystrophy Community Assistance, Research, and Education Amendments of 2001 (“MD-CARE Act”), which authorized the creation of Centers of Excellence (now called Wellstone Centers) to coordinate and intensify muscular dystrophy research. Rep. Wicker secured more than 300 members of the House as cosponsors of the legislation, and worked across the aisle with then-Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.) to ensure its passage. Since then, more than $80 million has been dedicated to find a cure for the myriad types of muscular dystrophies.
Children’s research efforts are led by Eric Hoffman, Ph.D., center director at Children's Research Center for Genetic Medicine, and chair of the Department of Genomics and Precision Medicine and professor of integrative systems biology at SMHS. Hoffman was a key member of the research team that identified the Duchenne muscular dystrophy gene and protein, and is widely considered one of the world's leading researchers into the disease.