The Tony Proudfoot Training Fellowship in ALS research at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital supports promising young scientists at the master’s, doctoral and post-doctoral level who wish to undertake research projects that specifically focus on ALS.
This year, the winner of the Tony Proudfoot Fellowship is Dr. Audrey Dangoumau. Audrey recently completed her PhD thesis under the supervision of Pr. Patrick Vourc’h at the University of Tours, in France. Her PhD research revealed the importance of SUMOylation in the formation of aggregates with SOD1 mutation.
Currently a postdoctoral fellow under the supervision of Dr. Guy Rouleau at the MNI, Audrey will work on elucidating the death process in motor neurons. Recent advances in stem cell biology have provided exciting opportunities to develop disease-specific cell types that allow us to understand and explore mechanisms that contribute to pathogenesis of disease. In particular, the ability to reprogram somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSC) provides obvious advantages to generate patient-specific IPSC that carry the exact same genetic makeup, including mutations that may contribute to disease process. She will examine the effect of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) toxicity on iPSC-derived motor neurons. CSF that leads to abnormal motor neuron morphology, decreased survival and/or aggregates will be used to screen for compounds that would alleviate the CSF-induced phenotype.
The Tony Proudfoot Fund also supports the ALS Society of Quebec’s mission to improve the living conditions of people with ALS and provides support for their family members across the province. The Fund also supports NOVA West Island support group for ALS family and caregivers.