The ALS Association Announces $4 Million in Global Research Grants on Lou Gehrig's Disease

Aug 08, 2012, 11:00 ET from The ALS Association

WASHINGTON, Aug. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The ALS Association announced today its latest research awards that include funding commitments of $4 million to researchers in 31 laboratories in the United States, United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany and Canada. These awards are part of its Translational Research Advancing Therapies for ALS (TREAT ALS™) program, through which The Association funds a diverse portfolio of research to find treatments and a cure for Lou Gehrig's Disease.

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Eventually, people with ALS lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis. There is no cure and only one drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that modestly extends survival.

"We are very pleased to announce these new research grants to some of the most promising ALS researchers in the U.S. and around the world," said Lucie Bruijn, Ph.D., Chief Scientist for The ALS Association. "The ALS Association looks forward to sharing the results of these diverse studies, which we hope will provide pieces to the complex puzzle of this devastating disease."

The ALS Association offers both Investigator-Initiated Awards, for research proposed by the scientists themselves, and ALS 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 Post-Doctoral Fellowship for ALS Research Award. Funding for this two-year research award is made possible by the generosity of the Safenowitz family through the Greater New York Chapter of The ALS Association and is 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.  

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 work in cell and animal model systems, genetics, environmental investigations, and work directly with people with ALS.  A list of all the awardees along with descriptions of each research proposal is available at

Donations from the following entities enabled The ALS Association to fund these new research grants: Alan Phillips Discovery Awards; the Robert Abendroth Genetics Fund; P2ALS; EMD/ALS Biomarker Research Fund, in memory of Marsh Douthat, through The ALS Association's Keith Worthington Chapter; Corinne Schwartz and Family; The Neil Brourman, M.D., ALS Research Fund; and the following chapters of The ALS Association: Wisconsin Chapter; Greater Philadelphia Chapter; Greater New York Chapter and California Chapters.

About the ALS Association
The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig's Disease on every front.  By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure.  For more information about The ALS Association, visit our website at

SOURCE The ALS Association