The Jefferson Weinberg ALS Center hosted an open house last week where University research assistants, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows shared their ALS-related work with the public. Some 35 attendees heard presentations on the role of cellular stress in ALS and its effect on muscle function; how ALS spreads among neurons; the role of toxic proteins in the onset and progression of the disease; and more.
The Weinberg ALS Center follows a twofold mission: to help patients live with ALS and to grow the ALS clinicians and researchers of the future, said Piera Pasinelli, PhD, the Frances and Joseph Weinberg Professor in the department of neuroscience at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) and director of the Weinberg ALS Center.
“Opening our doors combines these two goals,” she said. “Through research and technology, we provide the tools to improve patients’ quality of life and allow patients, caregivers, children and young adults to experience first-hand the beauty of science. Our students, post-docs and researchers also learn how to educate the public about their work and bring research to the outside world.”
In addition, the open house showcased the center’s collaborative approach, Dr. Pasinelli said. “There are no walls here. Three basic science laboratories and a clinical research program all work together.”