Accelerating identification of cross-species suppressor genes and elucidating early pathophysiology in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

This multi-institutional team uses unique knock-in animal models and human cell models of familial Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) that may more accurately reflect why neurons lose function and die in this disease.

The team harnesses the strengths of four powerful model systems—worms, flies, mice, and human induced pluripotent stem cells—to develop a robust understanding of the early stage defects in ALS neurons that precede loss of motor control. This project will also identify conserved, cross-species suppressor genes whose perturbation could prevent ALS.

Research Leads

  • Justin Fallon

    Professor of Medical Science, Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior

    Mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and their impact in neurodevelopmental disorders

  • Anne Hart

    Professor of Neuroscience, Graduate Program Director for the Neuroscience Graduate Program, Vice Chair of Neuroscience

    Conserved mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disease and nervous system function

  • Alexander Jaworski

    June G. Zimmerman Assistant Professor of Brain Science, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience

    Molecular and cellular mechanisms of brain wiring

  • Diane Lipscombe

    Reliance Dhirubhai Ambani Director of the Robert J. and Nancy D. Carney Institute for Brain Science, Thomas J. Watson, Sr. Professor of Science, Professor of Neuroscience

  • Robert Reenan

    Professor of Biology

    RNA editing and gene regulation in inherited neurological disorders

  • Kristi Wharton

    Professor of Biology

    Molecular mechanisms that mediate cell-cell signaling

  • Robert Brown (University of Massachusetts Medical School)

  • Brian Wainger (Massachusetts General Hospital)