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ALS Association Heads Collaboration on Postmortem WGS of ALS Patients

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The ALS Association today announced a collaboration with Target ALS to perform postmortem, whole-genome sequencing of people who have died from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

The New York Genome Center will use funding from the ALS Association and the Tow Foundation to sequence genomes of people with the neurodegenerative disease who have elected to donate their tissues after death. Samples will come from the Target ALS Postmortem Tissue Core housed at Barrow Neurological Institute; Columbia University; Georgetown University; Johns Hopkins University; and the University of California, San Diego.

"This will give researchers the ability to ask and answer important questions that link gene-based mechanisms to their effects on tissues in people with ALS," Lucie Bruijn, chief scientist at the ALS Association, said in a statement. "This kind of inquiry is needed to develop effective therapies against the disease."

The ALS Association and its Greater New York Chapter have committed an initial $2.5 million dollars towards a dedicated ALS program at the NYGC, which the Tow Foundation matched with an additional $2.5 million.

In August, the ALS Association partnered with Biogen and Columbia University Medical Center to study the genetics of ALS.