Les Turner ALS Center at Northwestern Medicine

Research at the Les Turner ALS Center at Northwestern Medicine

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine is known the world over for groundbreaking ALS research and the Les Turner ALS Foundation is proud to support four research laboratories.

These labs are led by four of the most well-respected and successful researchers in ALS:

  • Robert G. Kalb – We welcomed Robert Kalb, MD as the first Director of the Les Turner ALS Center in 2017. Dr. Kalb’s laboratory studies the basic mechanisms underpinning ALS using genetically engineered mice, primary neuron culture, C.elegans and yeast disease models. His work has focused on the fundamental molecular processes that go awry during disease. Dr. Kalb’s group discovered that derangement of energy metabolism is a key contributor to neuronal death in models of ALS.  In addition, he identified two cell biological pathways (GTPase mediated vesicle trafficking and RAD23 mediated protein degradation) that can be targeted for treatment of ALS.
  • Evangelos Kiskinis– The laboratory led by Evangelos Kiskinis, PhD, opened in January 2015. The lab focuses on understanding the level and nature of heterogeneity in ALS and to identify points of effective and targeted therapeutic intervention. He and his team have used patient-specific, stem-cell based approaches to investigate the processes that give rise to the genetic types of ALS.
  • Hande Ozdinler– The laboratory led by Hande Ozdinler, PhD, opened in 2008 and focuses on the motor neurons which reside in the brain and connect with motor neurons in the spinal cord to initiate and control movement. These two motor neuron populations progressively degenerate in ALS patients and therefore require immediate attention.
  • Teepu Siddique – Best known for the discovery of the SOD-1 gene, the laboratory led by Teepu Siddique, MD, DSc, focuses on genetic causes of ALS and understanding the processes by which ALS progresses so that effective treatments can be developed. The lab was first dedicated in 1979 and has been directed by Dr. Siddique since 1991.

View the external research review board here.

Vickie and Loren Semler Research Fund

The Semler ALS Research Fund, dedicated to funding research until a treatment is found, was established by Vickie and Loren Semler. “If we can’t find a cure today, Vickie and I would like to know that this important research is still being done, even after we are gone. We hope our support will inspire others to do the same.”  Unfortunately, Vickie lost battle with ALS on June 28, 2016. Knowing scientists at Northwestern Medicine are working tirelessly to find a treatment gives the Semler family hope for others who are suffering with this disease.

Pictured right: Vickie and Loren Semler

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