Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) research at UK DRI

A disease focus

"ALS/MND is a truly devastating disease. At the UK DRI, we are committed to finding new treatments and changing the lives of those affected now and in the future." Prof Bart De Strooper
Former UK DRI Director

1. Background

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or Motor Neurone Disease (MND), is a fatal neurodegenerative condition that causes progressive weakness of the muscles due to the degeneration of motor neurones in the brain and spinal cord. The average age at onset is 60 years and death usually occurs three years after the first symptoms appear, due to respiratory failure. Although there are some treatments available that can slow the progression by a few months, those affected are in desperate need of more effective therapeutics that improve symptoms and extend life expectancy.

2. UK DRI priority

UK DRI is the country's leading research institute for neurodegenerative disease with world experts across the ALS/MND research spectrum. Discovery science is the engine that drives medical progress; translational research is the process by which we apply our basic science discoveries to the needs of patients; clinical research is how we test these approaches in patients.

3. Latest news

Boosting brain immune cell waste clearance could provide new drug target for MND
A new study, led by Prof Siddharthan Chandran and Prof Josef Priller (UK DRI at Edinburgh), has revealed that the essential waste clearance role within microglia, the brain’s resident immune cells, is impaired in motor neuron disease (MND). The study, published in Science Advances, provides a potential new target for future drug discovery.
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Developing 3D stem cell models of motor neuron disease
In an exciting new project, Dr Bhuvaneish T Selvaraj, Emerging Leader at the UK DRI at Edinburgh, will investigate the mechanisms underlying motor neuron disease (MND) using cutting-edge human stem cell technology.
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Research reveals new insights into disease mechanisms underlying ALS
A new study led by Prof. Giampietro Schiavo (UK DRI at UCL) has uncovered why certain types of motor neurons are differentially affected in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The findings, published in the journal Acta Neuropathologica Communications, could open up new avenues for drug discovery and treatments for this disease.
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4. Meet the team

Adrian Isaacs3

Adrian Isaacs

  • UK DRI Group Leader
  • Frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis disease mechanisms
  • UCL, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) research at UK DRI
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Andrea Serio

Andrea Serio

  • UK DRI Group Leader
  • Engineering neuroscience to learn more about neurodegeneration
  • King's College London, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) research at UK DRI
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Bhuvaneish Selveraj Web 2

Bhuvaneish Selvaraj

  • UK DRI Emerging Leader
  • Mechanisms of selective vulnerability of motor neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Edinburgh, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) research at UK DRI
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Chris Shaw

Chris Shaw

  • UK DRI Group Leader
  • Proteostatic mechanisms in FTD and ALS
  • King's College London, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) research at UK DRI
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Emma Clayton

Emma Clayton

  • UK DRI Emerging Leader
  • Synaptopathy in FTD/ALS- investigating presynaptic proteostasis using novel tools in novel models
  • King's College London, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) research at UK DRI
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Gabriel Balmus2

Gabriel Balmus

  • UK DRI Group Leader
  • Identifying neuroprotective mechanisms against genomic instability accrual in ageing and neurodegeneration
  • Cambridge, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) research at UK DRI
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Giampietro Schiavo

Giampietro Schiavo

  • UK DRI Group Leader
  • Restoring axonal transport deficits as a therapeutic strategy for neurodegenerative diseases
  • UCL, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) research at UK DRI
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Jernej Ule 1

Jernej Ule

  • UK DRI Centre Director
  • RNA networks in ALS/FTD
  • King's College London, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) research at UK DRI
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Marc David Ruepp

Marc-David Ruepp

  • UK DRI Group Leader
  • Altered RNA metabolism in neurodegeneration
  • King's College London, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) research at UK DRI
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Sarah Marzi Portrait Web 2

Sarah Marzi

  • UK DRI Group Leader
  • Epigenetic regulation of environmental and genetic risk in neurodegenerative disease
  • King's College London, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) research at UK DRI
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Sarah Mizielinska

Sarah Mizielinska

  • UK DRI Group Leader
  • Single molecule nucleocytoplasmic transport dynamics in FTD/ALS
  • King's College London, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) research at UK DRI
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Siddharthan Chandran

Siddharthan Chandran

  • UK DRI Director
  • Dissecting macroglial-neuronal crosstalk in C9ORF72 FTD/ALS
  • Edinburgh, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) research at UK DRI, UCL, Central team
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