Research Affiliates

The Eleanor and Lou Gehrig ALS Center works in close partnership with research programs across Columbia University in an integrated effort that focuses our great strengths in basic, translational and clinical neuroscience on the goals of preventing, treating and curing ALS.

  • Motor Neuron Center of Columbia University involves over 40 laboratories throughout the three campuses of Columbia University, all contributing to the study of basic motor neuron biology and the mechanisms of neurodegeneration in ALS and related motor neuron disorders. In studies of motor neuron development, the structure and function of motor circuits in the brain and spinal cord, and their degeneration in ALS, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and other diseases, MNC researchers use a combination of molecular, biochemical, genetic and behavioral approaches to understand normal motor function that maintains us in health, and is lost as a consequence of motor neuron disease.
  • Institute for Genomic Medicine The precision medicine initiative in ALS and related motor neuron diseases seeks to elucidate genetic causes of disease, identify correlations between genetic mutations and clinical manifestations, and enable genetically-stratified therapeutic trials. To accomplish these goals, we aim to sequence all patients seen at NYP/Columbia and collaborating clinics, combining thoughtful genomic interpretation with careful clinical phenotyping. Currently, causative mutations are found in approximately one in five patients and this proportion will increase as we gain a further genetic understanding of this disease. The Precision Medicine Program at Columbia University will also lead a 10-site international collaborative effort with related goals, called Genomic Translation for ALS Care (GTAC).
  • Center for Genomics of Neurodegenerative Disease (CGND) at the New York Genome Center applies advanced genetics, genomics, and bioinformatics to the study of neurodegenerative disease mechanisms in ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases. The CGND uses whole-genome sequencing data together with other genomic-scale data such as RNA-SEQ, RNA-protein interactions, and DNA methylation patterns to gain insights into the relationship between mutations, gene expression, and disease mechanisms. CGND is also helping to create a uniform system of collecting clinical annotation to better enable the integration of genomic data with clinical profiles.
  • Zuckerman Institute of Columbia University brings together an extraordinary group of researchers from across the university in a state-of-the-art facility to transform our understanding of the brain and mind. ALS research at the Zuckerman Institute is based on the idea that advances in fundamental knowledge about the brain will lead to future innovations in the treatment of ALS and other neurodegenerative disorders.