Volker Straub is the Deputy Dean, Harold Macmillan Professor of Medicine and Professor of Neuromuscular Genetics at the Institute of Translational and Clinical Research at Newcastle University, United Kingdom. He is the Director of the university’s John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre and holds honorary clinical appointments with the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.
Volker was trained as a paediatric neurologist at the University of Düsseldorf and the University of Essen in Germany. He wrote his PhD thesis on Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and worked as a postdoctoral research fellow in Dr Kevin Campbell’s laboratory at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, USA, on limb girdle muscular dystrophies (LGMD).
Volker has a long-standing interest in the pathogenesis of genetic muscle diseases, with research using zebrafish and mouse models. His current research also involves the application of magnetic resonance imaging, next generation sequencing and other –omics technologies for the characterization of primary neuromuscular disorders.
One of Volker’s main interests in muscle diseases is around translational research. He was the co-founder of the EU FP6 funded network of excellence for genetic neuromuscular diseases, TREAT-NMD, which he coordinated together with Kate Bushby. Volker is a long standing core member of the TREAT-NMD TACT committee, which offers guidance on the translation and development path of therapeutics programs in rare neuromuscular diseases.
Volker is the CI/ PI for a number of natural history and interventional trials in DMD, LGMD, Pompe disease, spinal muscular atrophy and other NMDs. Volker also partners with the Broad Institute and MIT to lead the MYO-SEQ study, a pan European next generation sequencing programme targeted at patients with limb girdle weakness of unknown origin. Volker recently chaired the European MYO-MRI COST Action (BM1304) to develop applications of MR imaging and spectroscopy techniques in neuromuscular disease. He is part of the steering committee of the MRC Centre for neuromuscular diseases and is now President of the World Muscle Society. He is an author on >300 peer-reviewed publications.