Friday, February 21, 2020

Neurology/Neuroscience Research Seminar - Presented by Michael E. Ward, MD, PhD, Principal Investigator, National Institutes of Health - NINDS - Friday, February 21st, 2020

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

Biomedical Science Research Building (BSRB), Room 5515, 109 Zina Pitcher Place, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Our research focuses on two related neurodegenerative diseases that are often inherited,
frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Of the roughly 40
genes that cause FTD/ALS when mutated, roughly half encode proteins that regulate
endolysosomes or are components of RNA granules. We know that some of these genes function
together to regulate these cellular organelles, strongly suggesting the presence of converging
disease pathways in FTD/ALS pathogenesis. However, the precise nature of these pathways is
poorly understood. We have discovered that RNA granules “hitchhike” on lysosomes during
axonal transport and that this process is disrupted by ALS mutations, identifying a new
converging ALS mechanism linking lysosomes to RNA metabolism. We also recently developed
a new technology to perform forward-genetic whole-genome CRISRPi screens in iPSC-derived
neurons, which we are using to identify new FTD/ALS disease pathways.

Accreditation and Credit Designation:

The University of Michigan Medical School is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of Michigan Medical School designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s) ™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

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“Molecular convergence in FTD/ALS”

Dr. Michael E. Ward

Michael E. Ward, MD, PhD

Principal Investigator, National Institutes of Health, NINDS