Les Turner ALS Center at Northwestern Medicine

Lab of Dr. Hande Ozdinler

The ALS research laboratory led by Hande Ozdinler, PhD, opened in October 2008. This lab 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. Dr. Ozdinler became the first person to label, isolate and culture the corticospinal motor neurons in an effort to understand their requirements for survival.

Dr. Ozdinler is an Associate Professor at the Department of Neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, an affiliated faculty member to the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer Research Center, the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Research Center and the Neurobiology Program at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. She believes that solving complex problems require collaborative efforts and multi-disciplinary teams. Dr. Ozdinler speaks at neurological conferences around the world and is actively involved in organizing meetings, seminars and symposiums so that leading scientists and clinicians can share their knowledge of ALS research and clinical care. Most recently, she organized the annual Les Turner Symposium on ALS and NeuroRepair which celebrated research, patient care and education, which included presenters from premier teaching hospitals in the Chicagoland metropolitan area.

Dr. Ozdinler receives funds and awards from various agencies and foundations including the Brain Research Foundation, NUCATS Translational Innovation Award from Northwestern, the ALS Association and the National Institutes of Health since 2014.

Dr. P. Hande Ozdinler

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About Dr. Ozdinler’s Research

The Ozdinler lab discovered that increased ER-stress is one cellular mechanism that is responsible for upper motor neuron vulnerability and degeneration.  This discovery has been highlighted in the Northwestern Medicine Newsletter, ALSA, ALZforum and ALS Forum.

Research in the Ozdinler Lab has been highlighted as one of the most innovative research initiatives of 2015, by International Innovation.

Visit the Hande Ozdinler Lab website to learn more about the research being conducted.

Watch Dr. Ozdinler’s Research Lab complete the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge:

Dr. Ozdinler has created a series of videos about ALS research being done not only in the Ozdinler lab, but in the ALS world in general. Her first release focuses on the role of upper motor neurons in ALS. Click on the video to the right to learn more.

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