Structural Genomics Consortium at UNC receives $1.5 million grant to help find possible new treatment options for patients with ALS.

North Carolina, May 10, 2023 – The Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been awarded a $1.5 million grant from the U.S Department of Defense to support drug discovery efforts aimed at the investigation of small molecules that could potentially serve as new treatment options for patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Led by SGC’s Principal Investigator Alison Axtman, the funding will focus on targeting kinases, molecules which are not well studied in the human brain. Specifically, the research will target kinases that regulate TDP-43, a protein which has been shown to accumulate in the brain of ALS patients.

“We can use small molecules to specifically inhibit or degrade those kinases that enhance TDP-43 buildup, which will reduce or prevent this harmful process. Since protein buildup is common to nearly all individuals with the disease, our strategy is widely applicable and impacts nearly all ALS patients,” said Alison Axtman. 

This grant will allow SGC to open up new possibilities for drug discovery in the field. By eliminating protein aggregation, which is one of the major causes of patient decline in ALS, initiatives like this are leading the way toward achieving remarkable advancements in medicine.

Read more about the funding announcement.


About Structural Genomics Consortium

The Structural Genomics Consortium is a global public-private partnership dedicated to open science. It seeks to accelerate drug discovery by fostering collaboration among a large network of scientists in academia and industry and making all research outputs openly available to the scientific community. The current SGC research sites are in Canada, Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

For more information, visit

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