April 24, 2019

UMass Medical School researcher gets $300K for ALS study

Photo | Courtesy
John Landers

John Landers, a UMass Medical School neurology researcher, has received a $300,000 grant to study new therapies for ALS.

The grant from the Muscular Dystrophy Association, which the school announced Friday, adds to financial support Landers and others at UMass have received in working to find treatments for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Landers was one of eight recipients nationwide of Muscular Dystrophy Association funding totaling $2 million. Landers will use his funding to identify new therapeutic targets for the disease.

Last year, a group of 250 researchers, with Landers among its leaders, identified a new gene associated with the development of ALS.

Scientists have identified more than 40 genes causing familial, or inherited, ALS, and some have been found in nonfamilial ALS patients. But no genetic root has been identified in 90% of ALS cases, according to UMass Medical School.

ALS, a neurodegenerative disease, has no cure. A typical life expectancy is three to five years after diagnosis.

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