Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Les Turner ALS Center


Read the latest news from Les Turner ALS Center. The links below take you to articles where you can learn more about our faculty’s latest ALS disease research and discoveries at Northwestern Medicine.

  • 02.23.2020
    Read about the 2020 Les Turner ALS Foundation's Hope Through Caring Gala here.
  • 02.13.2020

    Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered that mutations in the largest genetic contributor to ALS leads to the dysfunction and eventual degeneration of certain specialized subtypes in the brain. The findings may lead to development of novel therapeutic interventions for the disease.

  • 11.15.2019

    Faculty, staff, students and trainees gathered for the ninth annual Les Turner Symposium on ALS and NeuroRepair, a one-day event highlighting the present and future of treating ALS.

  • 10.24.2019

    Evangelos Kiskinis, PhD, has received a New York Stem Cell Foundation – Robertson Investigator Award to study the origins of ALS and pediatric epilepsy.

  • Healey ALS Platform Trial
    The first-of-its-kind Healey ALS Platform Trial aimed at advancing and accelerating ALS drug therapy development will begin enrolling at the Lois Insolia ALS Clinic at the Les Turner ALS Center at Northwestern Medicine in 2020. The HEALEY ALS Platform Trial will include several promising biomarkers and novel outcome measures and will be an engine to develop exciting novel tools to revolutionize how therapies are developed. Learn more about the initiative here.
  • 09.16.2019

    Join us for the 9th Annual Les Turner Symposium on ALS and NeuroRepair: Celebrating Research, Patient Care, and Education. This one day event will take place on Monday, November 11, 2019, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

    This event is sponsored by the Les Turner ALS Center at Northwestern Medicine. Professionals, and patients and families affected by ALS are welcome.

    More information available here.

  • 09.05.2019

    Two Northwestern University scientists have received a $3.1 million grant from the National Institute on Aging to collaborate and investigate drug therapies for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

  • 05.31.2019

    Northwestern scientists have discovered how certain genetic mutations can weaken protein “quality control,” identifying a pathway that may contribute to neurodegenerative diseases.

  • 03.15.2019
    Click here for a story about the Les Turner ALS Foundation's annual Hope Through Caring Gala.
  • 11.15.2018

    The 8th Annual Les Turner Symposium brought together investigators, clinicians, patients and families to share the latest discoveries in ALS research, promote scientific collaboration and provide patient education.

  • 09.01.2018

    Robert Kalb is moving Northwestern’s Les Turner ALS Center forward. Read the story in Northwestern Medicine magazine.

  • 08.23.2018

    Check out this article from the summer issue of Northwestern Medicine magazine featuring our very own Dr. Robert Kalb!


  • 08.08.2018

    Basic Science conducted by investigators at Northwestern’s Les Turner ALS Center is building a foundation for future ALS care.

  • 07.10.2018

    Northwestern has long been on the forefront of studying the causes of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease) and treating patients with the disease. Robert Kalb, MD, is optimistic that more breakthroughs in the basic biology of the disease are on the way and a cure is possible.

    Listen here.

  • 06.20.2018

    Northwestern Medicine scientists used an innovative technique to measure electrical activity in ALS neurons, finding changes in excitability that indicated disease, according to a study published in Stem Cell Reports.

  • 05.10.2018
  • 03.22.2018

    Northwestern Medicine scientists have uncovered how DNA methylation triggers stem cells to transform into more specialized neuronal cells.

  • 03.22.2018
  • 11.13.2017

    The 7th Annual Les Turner Symposium showcased the integration of ALS investigation and clinical care at Northwestern Medicine and the Les Turner ALS Foundation.

  • 10.20.2017

    Answer ALS Partnership

    The Les Turner ALS Foundation is very pleased to announce the Les Turner ALS Research and Patient Center at Northwestern Medicine as the newest member of the single largest coordinated and collaborative effort to end ALS in the history of the disease – Answer ALS. The mission of Answer ALS is to build the most comprehensive clinical, genetic, molecular and biochemical assessment of ALS and make the data and research tools freely available to researchers to help bring an end to this disease.

    “The Center is proud to be one of the eight academic institutions to join Answer ALS in the largest collaborative ALS study ever conducted, thanks to funding from the Les Turner ALS Foundation,” said Senda Ajroud-Driss, MD, Associate Professor of Neurology at Northwestern Medicine Feinberg School of Medicine and Director of the Lois Insolia ALS Clinic at the Les Turner ALS Research and Patient Center at Northwestern Medicine. “Our hope is, through these shared efforts, new therapeutic targets will be found, increasing the likelihood and speed in which a treatment for ALS will be discovered.”

    This multi-organizational consortium is creating the most comprehensive collection of ALS data ever amassed, from an enormous sampling of 1,000 ALS patients in the United States. This collaboration uses big data sequencing efforts designed to uncover new ALS genes, which importantly leads to new therapeutic targets for researchers to go after in the fight against ALS. The more known therapeutic targets increases the likelihood that a treatment will be found. This research project also could potentially provide deeper understanding of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. Sample collection and enrollment will begin shortly at the Lois Insolia ALS Clinic at the Les Turner ALS Research and Patient Center at Northwestern Medicine.

    The Les Turner ALS Research and Patient Center at Northwestern Medicine joins seven other prestigious institutions in this project:

    • Johns Hopkins University
    • Massachusetts General Hospital
    • Ohio State University
    • Emory University
    • Washington University
    • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
    • Texas Neurology

    Answer ALS originated as a result of the 2013 ALS Team Gleason Summit, which brought together leading researchers, patients, caregivers and advocates. The event was spearheaded by former NFL player Steve Gleason who lives with ALS and founded the ALS advocacy group, Team Gleason. The goal of the Summit was to create a plan to find a treatment or cure for ALS as quickly as possible.

    “I’ve always said, to change the course of this disease, as a community, we would have to be bigger than ALS,” said Gleason. “I believe that if we commit to this effort, on this scale, we will have meaningful results in our lifetime.

    A funding effort led by the Leandro P. Rizzuto Foundation and the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research has resulted in $20 million raised for Answer ALS thus far. The initial stakeholder funders are the National Football League, the PGA TOUR, ALS Finding a Cure (a project of the Leandro P. Rizzuto Foundation), Travelers, The Fishman Family and The Bari Lipp Foundation. In October 2016, American Airlines joined the effort by donating $1 million to Answer ALS. The funding for the Answer ALS study being done at the Les Turner ALS Research and Patient Center is being donated by the Les Turner ALS Foundation.

    To further advance its research and data efforts to an international level, in June 2017 Answer ALS announced a partnership with Project MinE and the NYGC’s ALS Consortium to share its whole genomic sequencing data. In return, Project MinE USA will contribute results from its global genetic studies to further Answer ALS’s objectives, in addition to lending its technical expertise in analyzing sequence data. This adds to the sequencing expertise already established and takes this initiative to an unprecedented level.

    “Before being diagnosed with ALS, I used this philosophy during tough times in business,” said Ed Rapp, former Caterpillar Group President and Chair of the Answer ALS Advisory Committee. “Have a clear definition of winning, pull together the right team of people, identify the key work streams that must be executed and drive a focused execution model.” Rapp added, “And I believe the Answer ALS initiative employs that same philosophy.”

    People living with ALS who wish to be a part of Answer ALS should speak with their doctor at the Lois Insolia ALS Clinic at the Les Turner ALS Research and Patient Center at Northwestern Medicine.

    To learn more about Answer ALS, visit

  • 09.19.2017

    Robert Kalb, MD, has been named to lead the Les Turner ALS Research and Patient Center at Northwestern Medicine, as the center’s inaugural director.

  • 09.19.2017
    "Robert Kalb, MD, has been named the inaugural director of the Les Turner ALS Research and Patient Center at Northwestern Medicine and chief of Neuromuscular Medicine in the Ken & Ruth Davee Department of Neurology."
  • 09.07.2017

    The major features of Parkinson’s disease have been linked to a toxic cascade beginning with oxidized dopamine, providing a possible therapeutic pathway.

  • 07.25.2017
  • 05.15.2017
  • 03.09.2017
  • 03.08.2017
  • 02.07.2017

    A new review, published in Nature Reviews Neurology, outlines how upper motor neuron degeneration is an important feature in ALS pathology, and could be key to developing better diagnostic tools and treatments for ALS.

  • 01.27.2017
  • 12.21.2016

    “Truly, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine is an institution on the rise,” said Eric G. Neilson, MD, vice president for Medical Affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean. See some of the medical school's notable moments from 2016.