Les Turner Symposium on ALS

Monday, Nov. 4, 2024

Now in its 14th year, the Les Turner Symposium on ALS will return to Chicago this fall.

Join virtually or in person as leading ALS researchers, clinicians, advocates, and people living with ALS gather to discuss the latest research and perspectives on ALS.

It's an opportunity to ask questions, share insights, and engage with people striving to deliver the best possible ALS care — and it's a window into the future of treatment of the disease.

Feinberg Pavilion
Feinberg Krumlovsky Atrium
251 E Huron St. 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60611

Parking Information

Past Symposia

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Keynote Speaker : Angela Genge, MD, FRCP(C)

Angela Genge, MD, is internationally recognized for her work in clinical trial design and development for rare neurological conditions, with an emphasis on ALS/MND. She has served as director of the ALS Global Center of Excellence and ALS Clinic at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital since 1998. In 2023 she stepped down from her twenty-year tenure as executive director of the Institute’s clinical research unit, where, under her direction, it evolved into the most active neuroscience unit in the country, conducting over 100 clinical trials from Phase 1 to Phase 4. She developed a Phase 1 unit dedicated to neurological diseases, the ALS Global Center of Excellence, and ACCESS ALS, all of which fuel the drug discovery pipeline and accelerate the development of new therapies for rare and terminal neurological diseases. Angela serves as the global principal investigator for AL-S Pharma, as well as sits on numerous advisory boards and data and safety monitoring boards. She previously served as a distinguished clinical investigator for Novartis Global.

Angela advocates tirelessly for therapeutic innovation in neuroscience and access to therapeutics for the rare disease community. Throughout her career, she has received awards in recognition of her exceptional care and management of ALS studies and patients including being named the first international recipient of the 2023 Wings Over Wallstreet Diamond Award, the 2018 Forbes Norris Award, the DIVA of Distinction Award, the YMCA Woman of the Year Award, and the Governor General Diamond Jubilee Award. She completed her medical degree at Memorial University of Newfoundland and earned a B.Sc. from Dalhousie University. A fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Canada), Angela completed her Canadian and American certifications in internal medicine and neurology at McGill University prior to completing a fellowship in neuromuscular diseases at the Montreal Neurological Institute.


Pietro Fratta, MD

Pietro Fratta, MD, is a professor of cellular and molecular neuroscience at the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology and the Francis Crick Institute. His research centers on motor neuron diseases and RNA biology His laboratory uses sequencing and visualization tools to understand disease mechanisms in patient derived tissue, iPS cells, and mouse models. 


David Gate, PhD

David Gate, PhD, is a genomicist with a background in neuroimmunology. Dr. Gate’s work focuses on the intersection of the brain and immune system in ALS. His laboratory employs multi-omics strategies to interpret immune system changes related to ALS. His group is particularly interested in the interplay between neurons and inflammatory immune cells.


Lindsey Hayes, MD, PhD

Lindsey Hayes, MD, PhD, is an associate professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Brain Science Institute. She is a physician-scientist who specializes in neuromuscular disorders including ALS. Her laboratory studies the disruption of RNA and protein trafficking in neurodegeneration with a focus on TDP-43. Her laboratory employs cellular and molecular techniques to analyze mechanisms that regulate TDP-43 localization and function, to inform understanding of disease mechanisms and as a platform for preclinical therapy development.  


Robert G. Kalb, MD

Robert G. Kalb, MD, is the Joan and Paul Rubschlager Professor, Chief of the Division of Neuromuscular Medicine, and Director of the Les Turner ALS Center at Northwestern Medicine. His 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. The Kalb Lab is passionately committed to bending the arc of disease and finding a cure for ALS through innovative and collaborative research. 


Hande Ozdinler, PhD

Hande Ozdinler, PhD, is an associate professor of neurology (neuromuscular disease) at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineShe is a faculty member at the Les Turner ALS Center, Mesulam Center for Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Research Center, and Chemistry of Life Processes Institute at Northwestern UniversityDr. Ozdinler’s research aims to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for selective vulnerability and progressive degeneration, with special interest in upper motor neurons. The Ozdinler lab is currently working towards developing drug discovery platforms that incorporate upper motor neuron health as a read-out, and towards the identification of target engagement and pharmacokinetic biomarkers that can be utilized in the upcoming clinical trials that includes patients with upper motor neuron loss.   


Marco Martina, MD, PhD

Marco Martina, MD, PhD, is a professor of neuroscience at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and has investigated the functional and pharmacological properties of ion channels for nearly 25 years. In particular, his expertise concerns the impact of individual ion channel types on action potential generation and propagation, the role of dendrites in synaptic integration, and the properties and modulation of GABAA currents.    

The main focus of the Martina laboratory is to determine how alterations in intrinsic and synaptic neuronal properties affect the function of brain networks in different disease conditions, including chronic pain and degenerative diseases like ataxia and ALS.   

Dr. Martina has also contributed to the first characterization of the cellular pathology of corticospinal motor neuron in an alsin knockout mice, a rodent model of genetic ALS, and to the characterization of the electrophysiological dysfunction of upper motor neurons of SODG93A mice. 

Clinical Conversations Panel

Join us for an engaging afternoon discussion on the latest in ALS care and clinical research, from the perspectives of a clinician and people living with ALS. By uniting the expertise of specialists in fields like pulmonology, nutrition, and social work, multidisciplinary care is making a difference on the quality of life and health of people living with ALS and their caregivers. The Lois Insolia ALS Clinic at the Les Turner ALS Center at Northwestern Medicine has a comprehensive multidisciplinary team and is actively involved in multi-center drug trials and other clinical research. In this panel, you’ll learn how clinicians and people living with ALS are shaping the future of multidisciplinary care, research, and community support, and you’ll have an opportunity to ask questions about the latest advancements in these fields. 


Les Turner ALS Foundation

Care. Community. Cure.

We provide individualized care, local community support and hope through
scientific research.