Research Programs

PNRDThe PNR&D is interested in understanding the pathogenic mechanisms that trigger neurodegeneration in the central and peripheral nervous systems. PNR&D investigators are also focused on identifying effective therapies for these conditions. These goals are accomplished using a multifaceted approach consisting of active research programs in basic science research and clinical and translational research.

Dr. Feldman and her team of scientists are conducting cutting-edge research on a variety of neurological diseases. It has been a busy and exciting year in the PNR&D!

Clinical and Translational Research

Stem Cell

Program researchers are using stem cells to develop potential treatments for ALS.

The ALS clinic at the University of Michigan sees approximately 200 ALS patients per year, and approximately 600 patients are seen through the University of Michigan diabetic neuropathy clinic annually. These clinics are recognized as the best in their fields, and use a multidisciplinary team approach to provide patients with the best comprehensive care possible. While these clinics focus on treating patients with ALS or neuropathy, they also provide an important resource for clinical and translational research. From patient sample-based research in the laboratory to clinical trials, the University of Michigan is at the forefront of clinical and translational research, and is making major contributions to the understanding of these diseases and the discovery of potential new treatment approaches.

Some of our current endeavors are described in the following pages:

Basic Science Research

Laboratory research in the PNR&D focuses on understanding how conditions such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, childhood neuromuscular disorders, and ALS damage nerve cells. This research harnesses the advantages of cellular disease models, animal disease models, stem cell biology and computer-based analyses in order to gain comprehensive insight into disease processes. Understanding why nerve cells are lost in these conditions is necessary for the development of much-needed targeted treatments and for the improvement of diagnostic approaches that will ultimately enable earlier therapeutic intervention for patients.

Some of our current endeavors are described in the following pages:

Research Philosophy

Our research in growth factors, oxidative stress, stem cells, gene therapy, and nerve cell biology gets to the heart of why neurological diseases occur, why they devastate a person’s health, and how the diseases can be treated. We target ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Alzheimer’s disease, the complications of diabetes, pediatric neuromuscular diseases, and nerve injury. We share a broad array of expertise that enables us to tackle diseases using state-of-the-art techniques. By combining research at all levels, from genes and proteins through individual cells all the way up to man, we can translate laboratory discoveries into new treatments.

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