The ALS Association has announced the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity is contributing to support the Milton Safenowitz Postdoctoral Fellow Program by awarding $100,000 over two years to Antonia Dominguez, Ph.D., a researcher focused on finding treatments for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
The Milton Safenowitz Postdoctoral Fellowships were founded by the Safenowitz family in memory of Mr. Safenowitz, who died of ALS in 1998. Through the Greater New York Chapter of the ALS Association, the program aims to encourage young researchers to pursue their studies in the field of ALS. All fellows are accompanied by a senior supervisor and mentor and receive comprehensive exposure to the ALS research community through meetings, presentations and networking.
Dr. Dominguez investigates the C9orf72 mutation, the most common cause of inherited ALS, to understand how it leads to disease development. Under the mentorship of Lei Stanley Qi, Ph.D., and Steven Finkbeiner, M.D., Ph.D., Dr. Dominguez will use state-of-the-art technology to answer this question. While working with patient and control induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to observe the mutation’s effects, Dominguez will probe the downstream effects of the repeat RNA by testing the consequences of removing important RNA-binding proteins.
“By understanding the molecular mechanism and regulatory landscape of C9orf72, we hope to define new RNA or proteins as potential druggable targets for treating ALS,” Dr. Dominguez explained in a press release. “I am honored and grateful to both The ALS Association and Phi Delta Theta for the Milton Safenowitz Postdoctoral Fellowship. With this generous support, I will apply emerging technology to understand how C9orf72 mutations impact the survival of motor neurons (cells that die in ALS) that are derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The results from these studies have potential to define new targets for future ALS therapeutics.”
Phi Delta Theta is a decade-long supporter of The ALS Association and community. The fraternity has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to support undergrads and alumni members, and priceless volunteer hours to support ALS research and care services programs.
“Phi Delta Theta’s takes great pride in our partnership with The ALS Association. We are committed to the fight against ALS and our members continually impress us with their efforts to support those researching and living with the disease. Our members live by the motto ‘we enjoy life by the help and society of others’, and this partnership allows many Phis to put this motto into action,” commented Steve Good, Senior Director of Engagement of Phi Delta Theta.