Stephen Kolb, MD, PhD is the Protocol Principal Investigator for the study “Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Biomarkers in the Immediate Postnatal Period of Development”.  Dr. Kolb is located at the Ohio State University, in Columbus, Ohio.

Dr. Kolb is doing this research as part of the NeuroNEXT Network for Excellence in Neuroscience Clinical Trials (NeuroNEXT), which is supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a rare, inherited disease that results in loss of nerves in the spinal cord and weakness of the muscles connected with those nerves. The muscles most frequently affected are those of the neck and trunk that control posture, those of the legs and arms that control movement, and those in the area of the ribs that help breathing.

People with SMA generally appear normal at birth; the symptoms develop as early as 3 months in the most severely affected, around 1 to 2 years of age in the moderately affected, and more rarely in late childhood or adult years in mildly affected individuals.

There is no known treatment for SMA; historically, nearly half of babies born with the most severe form of the disease have died before two years of age.  All people with SMA have a higher than normal risk for progressive disability.  The most severely affected are at risk for breathing complications and early death.

We are doing this research study because there is strong scientific evidence in animal models of SMA that treatment of SMA may be successful if delivered in the first 3-6 months of age in humans and preferably before symptoms develop.  At this time, however, researchers who are developing therapies for SMA find that there is little to no information about how to study infants with SMA during the course of a clinical trial.  That is why this study is important.  The subjects in this study will teach us how to perform the critical SMA therapeutic clinical trials of the future.

The study will be conducted by the NeuroNEXT Network for Excellence in Neuroscience Clinical Trials (NeuroNEXT) in 15 sites around the United States.  Up to 54 volunteers will take part in this research study.  Information will be collected from two groups: infants diagnosed with SMA and infants without a neurological disease (we will call this group the control group).   All infants will be between 0-6 months of age at the time of enrollment.  Parents or guardians of the enrolled infants must sign an informed consent form prior to any study procedure being performed.  Other inclusion and exclusion criteria may apply.

This study is done in collaboration with Families of SMA (www.fsma.org), which is providing travel funding, and WryBaby, which is providing onesies for all study participants.

The Avery Elementary Parent-Teacher Organization of Hilliard, Ohio has contributed travel funding as well.

For additional information, please contact: Amy.Bartlett@osumc.edu or call 1-855-SMA-BIOM (1-855-762-2466).

SMA Brochure

SMA Video

Enrollment closure letter to sites

Participating clinical study sites are:


  • Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, DC
  • Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY
  • State University of New York Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse, NY
    • Principal Investigator: Klaus Werner, MD, PhD
    • Coordinator: Tanya Perry, BS
      Email: PerryT@upstate.edu


  • Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
    • Ann & Robert H Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Chicago, IL
    • Principal Investigator: Nancy Kuntz, MD
    • Coordinator: Lauren Webb, BA
      Email: lwebb@luriechildrens.org
  • Ohio State University, Columbus, OH (site of the protocol Principal Investigator)
  • Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO


  • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX
  • Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN


  • University of California – Davis, Davis, CA
  • University of California – Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
  • University of Colorado – Denver, Aurora, CO
  • University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR
    • Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, Portland, OR
    • Principal Investigator: Erika Finanger, MD
    • Coordinator: Rhonda Muhly, CCRC
      Email: muhly@ohsu.edu

NN101 (SMA) Study Sites
Data Coordinating Center: University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Bethesda, MD
Clinical Coordinating Center: Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
122.University of Utah<br />
Salt Lake City, UT
121.University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center<br />
Dallas, TX
124.Vanderbilt University<br />
Nashville, TN
109.Oregon Health and Science University<br />
Portland, OR
108.The Ohio State University Medical Center<br />
Columbus, OH
126.SUNY Upstate Medical University<br />
Syracuse, NY
104.Columbia University Medical Center<br />
New York, NY
125.Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine<br />
Saint Louis, MO
102.Children's Hospital Boston<br />
Boston, MA
107.Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine<br />
Chicago, IL
105.Emory University<br />
Atlanta, GA
103.Children's National Medical Center<br />
Washington, DC
116.University of Colorado - Denver<br />
Aurora, CO
113.University of California - Davis<br />
Sacramento, CA
114.University of California - Los Angeles<br />
Los Angeles, CA