Researchers at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry receive funding from ALS Canada

In Canada, approximately 2,000 - 3,000 people are currently living with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and two to three people with ALS die each day.

Researchers at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry are working to improve these statistics, and recent support from ALS Canada will help make this possible.

Congratulations to Martin Duennwald, PhD, and Drs. Michael Strong, Christen Shoesmith and Marvin Chum on receiving funding from ALS Canada.

Duennwald received an ALS Canada – Brain Canada Discovery Grant worth $100,000 over two years, Dr. Chum received an ALS Canada Fellowship worth $200,000 over four years, and Drs. Strong and Shoesmith received funding as part of collaborative multi-university research teams, worth $2.9 million over four years and $1.7 million over five years, respectively.

Duennwald project focuses on a protein called RGNEF, which is found in protein clumps in the most damaged nerve cells in ALS patients. He explained he is grateful for the generosity of ALS Canada, as this funding will allow his team to establish new research tools to help decipher the role of protein misfolding in ALS, and to find previously unexplored therapeutic targets for its treatment.

“Our research project seeks to find out how RGNEF ends up in protein clumps in the nerve cells of ALS patients, which other proteins interact with RGNEF in this process, and what this means for the damage to the nerve cells in ALS,” Duennwald explained. “Understanding these processes will ultimately contribute to our goal to characterize RGNEF as a promising intervention point for the treatment for ALS.”

Founded in 1977, ALS Canada is a national organization that invests in research for the future to help make ALS a treatable, not terminal disease.

Click here to learn more about the research projects funded by ALS Canada.