U of M researchers get $1.6 million grant to look for ALS cure

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A team of University of Manitoba researchers has been awarded a grant of $1.6 million over five years to look for a cure for ALS.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/11/2015 (2759 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A team of University of Manitoba researchers has been awarded a grant of $1.6 million over five years to look for a cure for ALS.

The team, headed by Jiming Kong, a professor in the department of human anatomy and cell science, said today their research will be aimed at removing a type of toxic protein in people with ALS.

“We are trying to find the first cure for ALS,” Kong said.

Joe Bryksa / Winnipeg Free Press
Dr. Jimmy Kong, front, with team members Dr. Hassan Marzban, rear left, and Dr. Michael Namaka at an announcement today at the ALS Society of Manitoba where their team has been awarded a $1.6 Million research grant.
Joe Bryksa / Winnipeg Free Press Dr. Jimmy Kong, front, with team members Dr. Hassan Marzban, rear left, and Dr. Michael Namaka at an announcement today at the ALS Society of Manitoba where their team has been awarded a $1.6 Million research grant.

“But we have a long ways to go.”

Diana Rasmussen, ALS Society of Manitoba executive director, said the research dollars come thanks to last year’s ice bucket challenge and a matching grant from the federal government’s Brain Canada.

“Without the ice bucket challenge money we might be further behind,” Rasmussen said.

“It moved everything forward exponentially.”

David Glover, who was recently diagnosed with ALS, said the announcement gives him hope there is a cure in sight.

“I am very encouraged,” Glover said.

“Five years is a long time for someone suffering with ALS. I don’t know if I will be around in five years but if this stops another family from being devastated that is great.

“But this gives me hope.”

Across the country a total of $15 million was announced today in research grants for ALS through the ALS Canada Research Program.

The University of Manitoba received the fourth highest amount of grant money behind the $2.9 million given to the University of Alberta, $2.5 million to Laval University, and $1.7 million to the University of Montreal.

kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason
Reporter

Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.

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