Published: 11-10-2021 14:57 | Updated: 12-10-2021 12:49

KI researcher awarded 1.5 million US dollar CDC Prime grant for ALS

Portrait of professor Fang Fang in the lab.
Dr. Fang Fang, Professor at the Institute of Environmental Medicine (IMM) Photo: Ulf Sirborn

Dr. Fang Fang, Professor at the Institute of Environmental Medicine (IMM) at Karolinska Institutet, has been awarded a grant of approximately 1.5 million US dollar for three years, from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), USA.

The research project will look at military service, traumatic brain injuriy (TBI), chronic neuroinflammation, and infection as potential risk factors for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), using data and biospecimens collected in the Swedish Motor Neuron Disease (MND) Quality Registry and the ALSrisc Study (a case-control study of ALS ongoing since 2016 in Stockholm). The project will focus on the interactions between these factors and an individual’s genetic background, environmental exposure, and internal homeostasis. Another aim of the project is to develop a molecular phenotyping-based tool to allow for more accurate prediction of disease progression for ALS patients. Key findings of this project will also be replicated using data and biospecimens collected in the US National ALS Registry.  This study expects to provide new knowledge for ALS prevention among high-risk individuals and identify novel therapeutic targets.

Dr. Fang Fang and her team at the Institute of Environmental Medicine, will work closely with the team of Dr. Caroline Ingre at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience and the Neurology clinic, Karolinska University Hospital and Dr. Manish Arora at the Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York.