Gene Discovery

“Cause” and “Cure” have always been the guiding principles in FOP research. Our goal has been to discover the exact genetic and molecular cause of FOP and use that knowledge to develop effective treatments and eventually a cure. 

In April 2006, after 15 years of painstaking research, the FOP research team at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and their international collaborators, pinpointed a single gene mutation -- one letter out of six billion in the human genome -- that causes the runaway bone growth of FOP.  This groundbreaking discovery is being used to unlock the mysteries of FOP, as well as the secrets of many common skeletal conditions, such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, post-amputation treatment, and specific complications of hip replacements, spinal cord injuries, head injuries and some heart valve disorders.

The FOP gene discovery gives people with FOP great hope for the future. Now that the cause of FOP is known, research efforts can now focus on a treatment and cure. The discovery of the FOP gene provides a highly specific target for future drug development that holds promise for altering not just the symptoms of the disease but the disease itself.