Administration and Leadership Studies, PhD
Provides expertise in the fields of research, program evaluation, training, and administration and leadership. Builds partnerships with and among nonprofit, government, and research communities. Provides support for research education and outreach efforts. Identifies, plans, and implements new research projects. Offering and facilitating agency-oriented training and conference activities. Developing training and education programs aimed at addressing knowledge gaps for specific target audiences as determined through needs assessment surveys, focus groups, etc. Carrying out coordination and training services for Pennsylvania state agencies. One such example is the Maintenance Activity Training project that provides an electronic training platform for specific highway maintenance activities for PennDOT personnel responsible for planning, scheduling, conducting, and/or assessing maintenance activities. IUP can adapt the individual training packages for use by any agency responsible for the maintenance of roadways. Assistance to faculty, students, and staff in the development of seminars and workshops pertaining to administration and leadership studies. Support and assistantship opportunities to graduate students through funded projects. The ALS-RTC promotes interdisciplinary studies on specific themes and develops contacts among researchers across geographical areas to foster an exchange of information and to encourage the development of research and training.
Roper St. Francis
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis comes from the Greek language meaning “No muscle nourishment.” Often known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, ALS is a serious progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord involved in controlling voluntary muscle movements. At onset, the disease usually robs patients of the ability to walk, speak, eat, and then progresses to involuntary muscles, which affects breathing. This decline in ALS eventually leads to full paralysis and ultimately, death. A rapidly progressive disease, the average life expectancy is just 2 to 5 years. The cause of ALS remains largely unknown and therefore it is extremely challenging to find a cure. Due to the complexity of this disease, properly diagnosing a patient currently requires a “Diagnosis of exclusion”. This is a slow, frustrating process that requires eliminating other diseases or health issues. The delay in diagnosis can last for months, even years, often denying patients the opportunity to receive early treatments and resulting in lost time with loved ones. By expanding on some of the best research in the field, we hope to provide more time to those suffering from this devastating disease. The primary aim of this new research study is to develop a blood-based diagnostic test, allowing physicians to diagnosis patients far sooner than ever before. This diagnostic test will be the first of its kind for ALS..
“The overall message is one of hope. The technologies that have been developed over the past five years to model neurological diseases and to alter gene expression in neurons are leading to results. If we can continue to translate research to patient care, the momentum will only continue.” Dr. Kolb is building on current research to bring gene therapy clinical trials to Ohio State. These trials will give his team the ability to alter gene expression in motor neurons, which may provide another treatment option for patients. This effort is being expedited with the backing of the Bonasera Family and the work the Julie Bonasera ALS Fund is currently supporting. “Having this support-and this is true for all philanthropic support-allows us to initiate and complete innovative projects and even think about doing work that is more risky but that may have a potentially higher reward. In a climate where NIH and other funding is waning, having this support allows us to do things that will make a bigger impact,” says Dr. Kolb. He goes on to say, “People should be very psyched about what is taking place at Ohio State for ALS. But it will take another level of support to elevate our research. Our goal is to provide our patients with targeted gene therapy clinic trials. We need more support.”
Lab of Dr. Hande Ozdinler
The ALS research laboratory led by Hande Ozdinler, PhD, opened in October 2008. This lab focuses on the motor neurons which reside in the brain and connect with motor neurons in the spinal cord to initiate and control movement. These two motor neuron populations progressively degenerate in ALS patients, and therefore require immediate attention. Dr. Ozdinler became the first person to label, isolate and culture the corticospinal motor neurons in an effort to understand their requirements for survival. She believes that solving complex problems require collaborative efforts and multi-disciplinary teams. Dr. Ozdinler speaks at neurological conferences around the world and is actively involved in organizing meetings, seminars and symposiums so that leading scientists and clinicians can share their knowledge of ALS research and clinical care. Most recently, she organized the annual Les Turner Symposium on ALS and NeuroRepair which celebrated research, patient care and education, which included presenters from premier teaching hospitals in the Chicagoland metropolitan area. Dr. Ozdinler receives funds and awards from various agencies and foundations including the Brain Research Foundation, NUCATS Translational Innovation Award from Northwestern, the ALS Association and the National Institutes of Health since 2014.