“Extraordinary” Collaboration Brings Together Project MinE, Answer ALS and the New York Genome Center


The ALS Association is proud to announce three large research organizations — Project MinE USA, Answer ALS and the New York Genome Center (NYGC) — will be working collaboratively toward their mission for treatments and a cure for ALS. These global collaborative projects, supported by The ALS Association through ALS Ice Bucket Challenge donations, will share genome sequencing information and research expertise to move efforts forward more rapidly and efficiently. Read more to learn about how global partnerships advance ALS research.

Through this new collaboration, Answer ALS is partnering with Project MinE and the NYGC’s ALS Consortium to share their well characterized cohort of whole genomic sequencing data to further Project MinE’s international efforts in genetics. In return, Project MinE USA will contribute results from its global genetic studies to further Answer ALS’s objectives, in addition to lending its technical expertise in analyzing sequence data. This adds to the sequencing expertise already provided by the NYGC, which provides whole genome data on Answer ALS participants.

“The size and scope of each of these projects is extraordinary in ALS research,” said Dr. Lucie Bruijn, Chief Scientist for The Association. “To see them join forces will heighten each of their efforts to an unparalleled new level. It is tremendous to see such large research groups, with so many dedicated people, working collaboratively towards eliminating this disease.”

This collaboration adds to the large ALS community involved in big data sequencing efforts designed to uncover new ALS genes, which importantly leads to new therapeutic targets for researchers to go after in the fight against ALS. The more known therapeutic targets increases the likelihood that a treatment will be found.

Initiatives partnering with Answer ALS now include NeuroLINCS, The ALS Consortium at the Center for Genomics of Neurodegenerative Disease (CGND) at the New York Genome Center (NYGC), the Neuro Collaborative and Project MinE, all partially funded by The ALS Association (starred in collaboration map below), thanks to ALS Ice Bucket Challenge funds. Through the Neuro Collaborative, we also support Cedars-Sinai induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) core, which enables centralization of iPSC lines derived from people with ALS and ensures standardized research protocols. In addition, we fund NeuroBANKTM, which provides data storage infrastructure and core services to the international ALS research community, including NYGC CGND and Answer ALS.

Collaboration is the cornerstone of our TREAT ALSTM global research program. We understand how crucial it is to facilitate partnerships across academia, industry and other non-profit organizations to move progress forward. Data that comes out of these large, global initiatives will be shared with the entire ALS research community. In turn, duplicative efforts are minimized, while research efforts are sped up. Together, we move advancements forward!

“Both Project MinE and Answer ALS are searching to learn more about ALS in different but complementary ways,” said Dr. John Landers, Co-Director of Project MinE USA. “By combining our efforts, we minimize each of our weaknesses and enhance our strengths.”

“The added value of the New York Genome Center’s effort to provide whole genome data on our patient cohort is fantastic. The ability to collaborate with the New York Genome Center and Project MinE is wonderful and speaks to the highly collaborative nature of the scientists and clinicians that make up these tremendous efforts to understand ALS and ultimately develop effective therapies,” said Dr. Jeffrey Rothstein, the founder and Executive Director of Answer ALS.

Learn more:

Answer ALS: website, webinar and strategic initiative page

Project MinE: website and strategic initiative page

New York Genome Center: website and strategic initiative page

NeuroLINCS: website and strategic initiative page

Neuro Collaborative: strategic initiative page

Genomic Translation of ALS Care: strategic initiative page

ALS Association Chapters supported the following strategic initiatives: NeuroLINCS (by the Greater Philadelphia Chapter); Project MinE (Northern New England Chapter and Ride for Life through the Greater New York Chapter); New York Genome Center (by the Greater New York Chapter and The Tow Foundation); Neuro Collaborative (Wisconsin Chapter and Orange County Chapter).


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