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Worcester’s UMass Medical Researchers Get Grant for ALS Research

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

 

Five researchers from Worcester's UMass Medical School have been granted a portion of $4.3 million of new research funding from the national ALS Association, the organization has announced.

The five researchers make up the majority of six Massachusetts researchers/facilities included in the funding. The UMass Medical School recipients are: Fen Biao Gao, Ph.D., Lawrence Hayward, MD, Ph.D.; John Landers, Ph.D.; Zuoshang Xu, MD, Ph.D.; and Jill Zitzewitz, Ph.D. Harvard University's Paola Arlotta, Ph.D., was the sixth Massachusetts researcher named.

TREAT ALS

These awards are part of its Translational Research Advancing Therapy (TREAT ALS ™) program, through which The Association funds a diverse portfolio of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research to find treatments and a cure for the disease. “These awards will drive research on several emerging fronts in the quest to understand and find treatments for ALS,” said Lucie Bruijn, Ph.D., Chief Scientist for The ALS Association. “The generosity of our donors and supporters makes these grants possible. We are very grateful for that generosity and the opportunity it provides to make these awards for this important research.”

In additional to the state of Massachusetts, the awards will go to scientists in laboratories in 13 other states as well as in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Canada, Argentina, France and Italy. These awards will support 35 new research projects.

Financial support from the following organizations and individuals enabled The ALS Association to fund these new research grants: Greater Philadelphia Chapter; Greater New York Chapter; The Jeff Kaufman Fund of the Wisconsin Chapter; Greater Chicago Chapter; Texas Chapter; Golden West Chapter; Greater Sacramento Chapter; Orange County Chapter; Greater San Diego Chapter; The Motor Neuron Disease Association of the United Kingdom; and Jay and Toshiko Tompkins.

The ALS Association funds both Investigator-Initiated Awards, for research proposed by investigators and Association-Initiated Awards, for research proposals in areas identified by The Association and its scientific advisors as key targets for new research.

The Association also offers The Milton Safenowitz Postdoctoral Fellowship for ALS Research Award. Founded by the Safenowitz family through the Greater New York Chapter of The ALS Association and in memory of Mr. Safenowitz, who died of ALS in 1998, these awards are to encourage and facilitate promising young scientists to enter the ALS field.

The Association is also continuing major support for the Northeast ALS Consortium (NEALS), to support the TREAT ALS NEALS Clinical Trials Network.

All of these new grants will support research to understand the causes of ALS, to develop new treatments, and to create tools that will help improve clinical trials of new therapies. More specifically, the research will include animal model systems, genetics, stem cells, and work directly with people with ALS.

For a full list of researchers, click here,
 

 

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