A few years ago in 2014, a new social media challenge became incredibly popular. It was the ice-bucket challenge, and absolutely every celebrity, political leader, and regular person participated. The idea was to call attention to the degenerative disease known as ALS and increase research funding for ALS through donations.
ALS stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. It’s a nervous system disease that weakens muscles and impacts physical function. Nerve cells break down, reducing the functionality of those muscles over time. Currently, ALS is incurable. However, the ice bucket challenge, thanks to going viral, actually did accomplish its goals. In addition, medical and research grants have helped fund previous ALS research.
According to the ALS Foundation, the ice bucket challenge allowed the foundation to increase its annual research budget by 187%. Today’s story features a research grant Washington University just received. What’s important about this grant is that it will allow researchers at the WU to conduct further ALS research.
Research Funding For ALS: Will These New Therapies Help Find a Cure?
So here are some more details on this grant. The National Institutes of Health awarded a Washington University research team a $3.1 million grant for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, which is part of the NIH. A research team led by Rohit Pappu, the Edwin H. Murty Professor of Engineering in the Department of Biomedical Engineering will conduct the research.
In addition, Tanja Mittag, of the St. Jude Department of Structural Biology, will also lead the research. The team will “study RNA-binding proteins that are mutated in patients with familial forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.” The goal is to use the research conducted to develop new therapeutics for ALS, as well as other neurodegenerative diseases.
Here’s what Rohit Pappu had to say about his team receiving this grant:
“This is an exciting opportunity to work together and build on efforts that were catalyzed by the St. Jude Research Collaborative. Our focus is on key components … that are tied to arrested dynamics of proteins within stress granules. Being able to modulate these dynamics would be a novel therapeutic strategy in ALS and other neurodegenerative disorders.” — Rohit Pappu
This work will build upon current research conducted on RNA-binding proteins specific to this kind of similar disease. Earlier collaborative work was funded through St. Jude Research Collaborative on Membraneless Organelles. Hopefully, this research will lead to some increased relief for those suffering from ALS, and their families. Many notable people have suffered from this disease, including famed physicist Stephen Hawking.
It’s important for ALS research funding to continue so we can learn more about this incurable disease. And, we all hope that one day research will lead to a cure.
GrantWatch Is Proud to List Medical Grants on Our Website
Hearing stories like this can make us all just a little bit more hopeful that there is a path to providing relief to struggling people. Since research funding grants are so important, we have an entire Medical grants category on GrantWatch. In addition, we also have a Research category. And Grantwatch subscribers can also use our advanced search tool to find the grant they are looking for, even with an exact key phrase.
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