Harvard University President Drew Faust takes ALS ice bucket challenge

September 2, 2014

President Drew Faust accepts the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and is doused by Harvard’s ALS research team, led by Harvard Stem Cell Institute Principal Faculty member Kevin Eggan, PhD. She nominates MIT president Rafael Reif, UMass Boston Chancellor Keith Motley, and The Harvard Dorm Crew.

Patient stem cells help identify common problem in ALS

April 3, 2014

Discovery will lead directly to clinical trials

Harvard stem cell scientists have discovered that a recently approved medication for epilepsy may possibly be a meaningful treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)—Lou Gehrig’s disease, a uniformly fatal neurodegenerative disorder. The researchers are now collaborating with Massachusetts General Hospital to design an initial clinical trial testing the safety of the treatment in ALS patients.

From skin cells to motor neurons: researchers find success with direct cellular reprogramming

August 29, 2011

A team of Harvard stem cell researchers has succeeded in reprogramming adult mouse skin cells directly into the type of motor neurons damaged in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), best known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). These new cells, which researchers are calling induced motor neurons (iMNs), can be used to study the development of the paralyzing diseases and to develop treatments for them.

New use for stem cells identifies a promising way to target ALS

April 18, 2013

Using a new, stem cell-based, drug-screening technology that could reinvent and greatly reduce the cost of developing pharmaceuticals, researchers at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) have found a compound that is more effective in protecting the neurons killed in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) than are two drugs that failed in human clinical trials after large sums were invested in them.