Sharper focus may be the key to finding a therapy for ALS. Historically, research efforts have been fragmented. While scientists worldwide have advanced knowledge of the disease, it’s often in a piecemeal fashion. Packard works under a different plan: choose the best investigators in different aspects of ALS pathology and assign their work as part of a broad but rational attack. That plan has four aspects that our Center facilitates.
Recruit Committed ALS Investigators Worldwide
The Packard Center comprises a group of committed scientists throughout the world who tackle key questions on the cause and treatment of ALS. To support their studies – sometimes work not directed specifically toward ALS – the Center provides expertise, advanced technology and a collaborative spirit.
Integrate Investigative Knowledge
The Center's Scientific Advisory Board steers investigation into novel areas with the potential to advance ALS research. That board, the Center director and science director, as well as outside collaborators, suggest a right course for testing the potential therapies that result.
Foster Discourse and Collaboration
Since its beginning, the Center has held monthly meetings for its scientists, offering updates on new approaches to ALS and the chance to brainstorm and evaluate each others' work. Researchers present highlights of each year's work at an annual symposium.
Channel Basic Science Findings into Clinical Investigations
All of the Center's studies are meant to translate from bench to bedside in rapid time. Basic science studies are begun with an eye to clinical trials at a later date. Because many of our physician-researchers also staff Johns Hopkins’ Multidisciplinary ALS Clinic, a well-respected facility at the East Baltimore campus, recruiting for trials is relatively easy.
The Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins was established with the conviction that an aggressive, targeted and collaborative effort can halt or cure the disease.