Looking ahead, Dr. Kolb is optimistic about his lab’s work and how it can improve lives.
“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.”