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Video: Scientists at UMMS working toward ALS cure

The viral video “Ice Bucket Challenge” campaign is making ALS a household word across the country and shining a light on the scientists around the world searching for a cure. At UMass Medical School, Robert H. Brown Jr., DPhil, MD, one of the world’s foremost authorities on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, heads a multi-disciplinary team of scientists researching treatments and a cure for the disease.

“It’s very exciting to do ALS work here because we have a span of expertise all the way from people who are experts at figuring out the genetics of this disease to those who have built gene therapy centers who know how to get inside the iron curtain around the brain so we can put medications inside and treat a disease like ALS, or maybe also Parkinson’s or Huntington’s or other types of these brain degenerative disorders,” said Dr. Brown, the Leo P. and Theresa M. LaChance Chair in Medical Research and chair and professor of neurology. “The tools for finding out what causes ALS have never been better.”

Melissa Moore, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, the Eleanor Eustis Farrington Chair in Cancer Research, professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology, and co-director of the RNA and Neurotherapeutics Institutes, said the teamwork at UMMS is key to advancing the science.

“UMass Medical School is an amazing place for ALS research because we have so many people in different disciplines that are contributing to trying to understand the basis of the disease and also to develop cures for the disease,” said Dr. Moore.

To support the groundbreaking research taking place at UMass Medical School through the UMass ALS Cellucci Fund, visit