Project ALS Announces Research Advisory Board 2.0

Non-Profit ALS Research Leader Gathers a Diversity of Expertise to Guide Next-Phase Progress
Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 4:00 AM PDT

NEW YORK, Oct. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Project ALS, a non-profit 501(c)3 leader in the pursuit of treatments and a cure for the neurodegenerative disease ALS, has announced its research advisory board (RAB).

Non-Profit ALS Research Leader Gathers a Diversity of Expertise to Guide Next-Phase Progress

The newly minted RAB represents a range of experience and expertise across the fields of neuroscience, clinical research, drug development, and technology. The members of the 2021 Project ALS RAB are chair, Neil Shneider, MD, PhD (Columbia University), Eiman Azim, PhD (Salk Institute) Robert H. Brown, Jr. MD, DPhil (UMass), Elizabeth Engle, MD (Children's Hospital Boston/Harvard Medical School), Gerald D. Fischbach, MD (Simons Foundation/Columbia University), David Glass, MD (Regeneron), H. Robert Horvitz, PhD (MIT), James M. Wilson, MD, PhD (University of Pennsylvania), Ai Yamamoto, PhD (Columbia University). The RAB recognizes in memoriam the contributions of RAB members Thomas M. Jessell, PhD, and Louis P. Rowland, MD.

"Project ALS is excited to work with this RAB—the most distinguished group of experts we've assembled to date," said Valerie Estess, Project ALS co-founder and director of research. "Leadership on all fronts is required to stop ALS. All must lead: from people living with ALS and the families and communities who care about them, to doctors, researchers, donors, and volunteers. I know that the Project ALS RAB will help us to navigate this hopeful time in ALS research, and move drug development toward better outcomes for patients."

"This is the right moment to relaunch the Project ALS RAB and to renew our commitment to the important work of this organization," added RAB chair, Dr. Neil Shneider.

The Project ALS RAB is charged with assessing research progress at the Project ALS Therapeutics Core at Columbia (the Core). In only its third year, the Core functions as a multi-unit approach to identifying and developing potential ALS drugs. The RAB will monitor progress of the Core's many academic collaborators and help Project ALS to maximize research partnerships with industry, including drug companies and biotechs.

Project ALS is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 whose mission is to identify and fund ALS and related research toward effective treatments and a cure. Project ALS was founded in 1998, by Jenifer Estess, who was diagnosed seemingly out of nowhere with ALS. A close relative of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's, ALS is a devastating neurodegenerative disease that targets motor neurons, the brain cells that control nearly all human movement. To date, Project ALS has raised over $120 million, and directed approximately 90% of that to research programs.

The Project ALS Therapeutics Core at Columbia (the Core) is the centerpiece of current Project ALS research efforts. In its first 18 years of existence, Project ALS funded basic research toward a deeper understanding of the disease. The Core was designed to convert the knowledge gleaned from basic research, including the identification of over 50 ALS genes…discovery of novel cellular and molecular pathways involved…the generation of the first patient-specific models of ALS--in to a more rational, aggressive, well-coordinated attempt to generate better ALS therapies.

(PRNewsfoto/Project ALS)
(PRNewsfoto/Project ALS)

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