Local

WSU granted $450,000 for ALS research

DAYTON — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded Wright State University a federal research grant to study the neurological disease, ALS.

The $450,000 grant begins April 1.

Principle Investigator Shulin Ju, Co-Investigator Quan Zhong, and biology associates at the university can use the funds as they need to conduct their research.

“We are grateful for the funding of this important project,” said Ju.

“Both undergraduate and graduate students have made huge contributions to research in our labs. With this funding, we will support many more talented undergraduate and graduate students to gain research experience that otherwise will be cut short.”

ALS affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. There is no cure for the disease that begins with progressive loss of muscle function followed by paralysis and ultimately death due to inability to breathe.

The research by Ju and Zhong is aimed at understanding mechanisms of the cellular toxicity of the protein-coding gene FUS, mutations in which cause ALS, stated a media release from the university.

“Understanding why FUS is toxic and how modifier genes enable cells to survive hopefully will lead to the discovery of novel therapeutic targets, which are desperately needed for curing this devastating disease,” said Ju.