The Les Turner ALS Foundation Research Laboratory led by P. Hande Ozdinler, PhD, opened in October 2008. This lab focuses on the motor neurons which reside in the brain, and connect with motor neurons in the spinal cord to initiate and control movement. These two motor neuron populations progressively degenerate in ALS patients, and therefore require immediate attention.
Dr. Ozdinler is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and she is an affiliated faculty member to the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer Research Center, the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Research Center, and the Neurobiology Program at Children's Memorial Hospital. Much as the brain functions via complex, integrated networks, Dr. Ozdinler believes that scientists must work in integrated teams in order to bring an understanding to complex neurodegenerative diseases.
Partnerships Dr. Ozdinler has developed have already created many new avenues of research. Her collaborative efforts have the goal of identifying early detection markers in ALS, and developing neuron-specific genetic therapeutics to upper motor neurons. Since its establishment, Dr. Ozdinler's lab has received multiple awards and developed numerous new research tools, such as a novel reporter model, and an in vitro, small-scale drug screening platform using pure populations of upper motor neurons.
A small group of elusive neurons in the brain’s cortex play a big role in ALS, but the neurons have always been difficult to study because there are so few of them and they look so similar to other neurons in the cortex. In a new preclinical study, Dr. P. Hande Ozdinler, Foundation researcher and Northwestern Medicine® scientist, has isolated the motor neurons in the brain that die in ALS and, for the first time, dressed them in a green fluorescent jacket. Now they’re impossible to miss and easy to study.
Our 3rd Annual Syposium on ALS and NeuroRepair will be held on Friday, May 31, at the Baldwin Auditorium of the Lurie Medical Research Center (303 E. Superior in Chicago). The symposium is hosted by P. Hande Ozdinler, director of one of the Les Turner ALS Laboratories. This year's topic is "Common and Unique Biology Between Cancer and Neurodegeneration." The presentations begin at 12:30pm and will be followed by a wine and cheese reception at 5:00pm.
New this year! CME credit is available for this conference. While the presentations will be very technical in nature, the general public is welcome to attend. Visit our ALS Symposium ticket order form for more information or to register.