HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The ALS Association’s Translational Research Advancing Therapies for ALS Portfolio is a research endeavor enabling important global research to progress from the laboratory to the bedside. The focus of TREAT ALS is to support novel ideas, build tools, partner with academia and industry to identify new potential therapies, and support the infrastructure for clinical trials. The goal is to find meaningful treatments and a cure for ALS. The association recently awarded one of seven grants to the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology.
Funded by the Alabama Chapter of The ALS Association, the grant addresses genomic studies for ALS under the direction of Richard M. Myers, Ph.D., director and president of HudsonAlpha.
According to Myers, several genes have been identified where mutations in them result in the disease. Researchers have generated mice that have symptoms and progression of the disease by inserting and over expressing mutant versions of the human gene. HudsonAlpha will use one of the mouse models to help understand the molecular mechanisms that result in ALS. The plan is to apply state-of-the-art cell isolation and high-throughput DNA sequencing technologies to identify changes in the readout of all genes in the mouse model that result from having a mutant versus a normal gene.
“These studies are a critical part of providing intervention and treatment for ALS patients. HudsonAlpha is honored to be part of The ALS Association’s team in advancing understanding of the disease and supporting development of diagnostics and treatments,” said Myers.
According to Stuart Obermann, chairman of the board of trustees and chapter co-founder, “The Alabama Chapter of the ALS Association is proud to be able to support this important research project, especially since the research will take place here in Huntsville. It is because of the many generous donors and supporters across the state that we are able to make this research project a reality, bring research dollars back to Alabama, and help with the effort to find a cure for ALS.”
About HudsonAlpha: The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Alabama, is the cornerstone of the Cummings Research Park Biotechnology Campus. The campus hosts a synergistic cluster of life sciences talent – science, education and business professionals – that promises collaborative innovation to turn knowledge and ideas into commercial products and services for improving human health and strengthening Alabama’s progressively diverse economy. The non-profit institute is housed in a state-of-the-art, 270,000 square-ft. facility strategically located in the nation’s second largest research park. HudsonAlpha has a three-fold mission of genomic research, economic development and educational outreach. About The ALS Association: Established in 1985, The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure. As the preeminent ALS organization, The Association leads the way in research, patient and community services, public education, and advocacy — giving help and hope to those facing the disease. The Association’s nationwide network of chapters provides comprehensive patient services and support to the ALS community. The mission of The ALS Association is to lead the fight to cure and treat ALS through global cutting-edge research, and to empower people with Lou Gehrig’s disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support. The Alabama Chapter, founded in 2004 and headquartered in Huntsville, serves over 200 Alabamians living with ALS each year and provides ALS education and awareness for patients, families and healthcare professionals throughout the State.