The University of Notre Dame is continuing its efforts to battle a neurodegenerative disease that affected the family of a former head football coach. The university has established the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Fund in hopes of finding a cure or treatment for Niemann-Pick Type C disease.
The fund is a continuation of the university’s partnership with the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation. Notre Dame is also moving the administrative functions and granting process of the foundation from Tucson, Arizona to the South Bend campus.
NP-C is a rare and fatal disease for which there is no known cure. Three of Parseghian’s grandchildren have died from the disease and Notre Dame says the fund will continue to support a competitive granting process, expand fundraising efforts to support NP-C research and raise awareness of the disease.
"Notre Dame is a true blessing to all families who struggle with the ravages of NP-C disease. We are confident in the future of NP-C research with Notre Dame taking on this pivotal role," said Cindy Parseghian, president of the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation. "Sean Kassen, as director of the fund, is uniquely qualified to head the effort with his past experience in development and his Ph.D. in biology."
The university says it recently established the Warren Family Research Center for Drug Discovery and Development, in which researchers can "assist in the design and synthesis of drug candidates. Notre Dame says Paul Helquist, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, has developed with the help of collaborators a drug candidate that is currently in clinical trials.
You can learn more about the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation by clicking here.