ALS Association grants funding to nine different ALS studies
The grants were split into three groups: those initiated by the ALS Association, biomarker grants initiated by investigators and Milton Safenowitz Postdoctoral Fellowships.
Grants initiated by the ALS Association included a $300,000 grant over two years to Dr. Joseph Beckman, Oregon State University researcher for pre-clinical investigation of CuATSM in mice and dogs; a one-year, $95,789 grant to Dr. Zuoshang Xu and Dr. Thoru Pederson, University of Massachusetts Medical School, for the development of a rapid diagnostic assay for C9orf72 DNA repeat expansion. Also included are a three-year, $154,544 grant to the Northeast ALS Consortium (NEALS) to support the organization's partnership with the Muscular Dystrophy Association and a one-year, $18,766 award to Dr. Janine Kirby and Dr. Paul Heath of the University of Sheffield and Dr. Ammar Al-Chalabi of King’s College, U.K., to compare microRNAs in people with short versus long disease durations of ALS.
Biomarkers are measurable changes that can pinpoint the onset of a disease and track its progression or response to treatments. Biomarker grants were awarded to Dr. Bruce Trapp of Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, who will receive $238,611 over three years for post-mortem MRI and pathology in ALS patients to identify biomarkers and evidence of oligodendrocyte dysfunction; and Dr. Joan Coates of the University of Missouri – Columbia and Dr. John Gerdes of Southern Research Institute, South Birmingham, Alabama, who will receive $236,636 over 30 months to study PET imaging of EAAT2 in the dog model of ALS.
Milton Safenowitz Postdoctoral Fellowships are bestowed by the Safenowitz family through the Greater New York Chapter of The ALS Association in memory of Milton Safenowitz, who died of ALS in 1998. Fellows work with senior mentors and receive $100,000 in funding over a two-year period.
These fellowships were awarded to Dr. Jone Lopez-Erauskin, University of California at San Diego, to identify key molecular targets to counteract muscle denervation in ALS; Dr. David Medina of Barrow Neurological Institute, Arizona, to modulate signaling as a therapeutic approach for ALS; and Dr. Fernande Freyermuth of Massachusetts General Hospital, Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, to target FUS misfolding to mitigate RNA processing alterations linked to ALS.
For more information about these grants or the ALS Association, visit the organization's home page.
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