• Project Title: A Comparative Analysis of ALS Clinical Trials

  • BASIS Advisor: Mrunali Das

  • Internship Location: New York Genome Center

  • Onsite Mentor: Nadia Propp

ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Over time, the motor neurons, which connect and allow communication between muscles and the brain and spinal cord, gradually degenerate until the cells die. Once this occurs, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost, which negatively impacts one’s ability to speak, eat, move, and breathe. Currently, no cure for ALS exists, and medical care for ALS patients imparts a huge financial burden, at an estimated $200,000 per year. However, there have been a number of clinical trials that have attempted to find a treatment, ranging from drug trials to stem cell therapy. Through many angles of cutting-edge research, the Center for Genomics of Neurodegenerative Disease (CGND) at the New York Genome Center integrates and combines all possible approaches to studying ALS. During my internship at CGND, I will assist research scientists by utilizing microscopy and molecular techniques and cultivating stem cells, and I will grasp a better understanding of international and domestic differences in ALS research by studying the resources of the lab’s ALS Consortium.