Marisa Wexler, MS, senior science writer —

Marisa holds a Master of Science in cellular and molecular pathology from the University of Pittsburgh, where she studied novel genetic drivers of ovarian cancer. Her areas of expertise include cancer biology, immunology, and genetics, and she has worked as a science writing and communications intern for the Genetics Society of America.

Articles by Marisa Wexler

Smoothened Agonist May Normalize Defects in Brain Cells With FA

Astrocytes, a type of support cell in the brain, showed metabolic defects and unusual pro-inflammatory activity that likely contributes to neuronal dysfunction in a cell model of Friedreich’s ataxia (FA), according to a new study. Results also indicate that treatment with a molecule called smoothened agonist (SAG) can normalize…

Europe Awaits Proposed New Framework for Sharing Health Data

The European Commission is expected to propose a new governing framework for health data next month, called the European Health Data Space (EHDS), with the aim of connecting national health systems to facilitate secure and efficient transfer of data across systems in different European nations. The move is expected to…

US Department of Defense Opening FA Research to Grant Awards

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is offering grant awards to researchers working to improve care for Friedreich’s ataxia. The DoD’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) is a funding organization whose goal is to further the development of new approaches to address specific areas of biomedical research as…

Researchers Make New iPSC Models of Friedreich’s Ataxia

A team of scientists at Koc University in Turkey has created three new cell models of Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) derived from patients with repeat expansions in their FXN gene. The models “will facilitate studies to understand molecular mechanisms related to FRDA [Friedreich’s ataxia] pathology [disease processes] as well as therapeutic…

rideATAXIA Dallas Cycling Event Coming Up Nov. 6

This year’s rideATAXIA Dallas, a cycling event that raises money to support research into treatments for Friedreich’s ataxia, will take place Nov. 6. The event will feature in-person rides at UNT Discovery Park in Denton, Texas. Four route options are available: three, six, 27, and 50 miles. Registration…

Plans Progress for Approval of Omaveloxolone

Reata Pharmaceuticals is planning to ask the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve omaveloxolone to treat people with Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) early in 2022, following the completion of a preliminary meeting with the agency. “Omaveloxolone could be the first drug approved for the treatment of Friedreich’s…

New System May Better Measure Walking Problems

Researchers have developed a new system that might better measure walking or gait problems in people with Friedreich’s ataxia and other nerve and muscle conditions. The study describing this method was published in the journal Sensors, as “Gauging Gait Disorders with a Method Inspired by Motor Control…

FDA Puts Hold on CTI-1601 Clinical Development

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has put a hold on the clinical development of CTI-1601, an investigational treatment for Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) that is being developed by Larimar Therapeutics. According to a press release from Larimar, the hold was put in place after Larimar notified the…

Leriglitazone Shows Benefits in Cell and Animal Models

Leriglitazone, an oral treatment candidate for Friedreich’s ataxia (FA), can increase frataxin levels and reduce neuronal degeneration in cell and animal models of the disease, a study found. Along with promising clinical findings from a Phase 2 clinical trial (NCT03917225), the results support the use of leriglitazone, and the…

4 Cutting-edge Research Projects Chosen for AIM Awards

The Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA), the CureFA Foundation, and fara Australia are supporting four research projects that aim to better understand the biology underlying Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) and pave the way for future treatment approaches, FARA announced in a press release. The Award for…

IXICO Joins Consortium to Develop New Imaging Markers for FA

IXICO has entered a five-year collaboration with the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) and joined the TRACK-FA Neuroimaging Consortium, a group of academic and industry partners that are conducting a natural history study focused on tracking brain and spinal cord changes in patients with Friedreich’s ataxia (FA).

Extent of Motor Difficulties May Mirror Problems in Cognitive Abilities

Poorer motor control associates with greater cognitive difficulties in people with Friedreich’s ataxia (FA), a study from Belgium suggests. Its researchers also indicate that a recently validated cognitive test, although for a separate disease, ably captures the severity of problems with higher-level thinking in these patients, and could be used in…