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In the evening of Thursday, October 3, Dr. Eva Feldman accepted the award for Distinguished Alumnus Achievement from the Michigan Medicine Almumni Society.
“This award goes to all the individuals who I have partnered with for over 30 years, and together we have wanted to push the boundaries of medical research.” (Dr. Eva Feldman)
She celebrated with friends, colleagues, supporters, and family:
Chennai, India – Eva Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Program for Neurology Research & Discovery, was one of two keynote speakers at the 2019 Indo U.S. U.K. Conclave, hosted by the M.V. Hospital for Diabetes & Professor M Viswanathan Diabetes Research Center. The theme of the September event was preventing nerve and kidney disease in patients with diabetes.
Dr. Feldman gave a presentation entitled “Diagnosis of Diabetic Neuropathy in the Clinical Setting: What Should a Clinician Know?” A member of the board of directors for the M.V. Hospital for Diabetes, Dr. Feldman was making her fifth trip to India. Her collaboration with Vijay Viswanathan, M.D., Ph.D., head & chief diabetologist at the M.V. Hospital, dates back to her first visit to India in 2014. Drs. Feldman and Viswanathan are together conducting studies in M.V. Hospital to determine the prevalence of nerve, kidney and eye disease in patients with newly diagnosed prediabetes and diabetes, and comparing these findings to parallel studies being conducted in the USA. The goal is to understand how different diets, climate and lifestyles, along with genetic risk factors, influence the development of damage to vital organs in diabetes. In June 2019, Dr. Feldman was the lead author of “Diabetic Neuropathy” in Nature Reviews Disease Primers (one-page summary) where Dr. Viswanathan was a contributing author. She highlighted the work she and Dr. Viswanathan are conducting during her presentation at the Indo U.S. U.K. Conclave.
M.V. Hospital for Diabetes situated at Royapuram, Chennai, was established by late Professor M. Viswanathan in 1954 as a general hospital. In 1971 it became a hospital exclusively for diabetes care. Under Dr. M. Viswanathan’s leadership, the hospital has grown to achieve the status of a teaching institution of international excellence. It has, at present, 100 beds for the treatment of diabetes and its complications. Over the years it has grown to be one of the largest referral centers for diabetes, with more than three million patients registered to-date. It is recognized as an internationally-known tertiary care center for referral of diabetic patients. Drs. Feldman and Viswanathan are currently applying to the National Institutes of Health for funding to support their groundbreaking studies.
Top officials from the American University of Beirut, including President Fadlo Khuri, are visiting the University of Michigan October 9-11 to discuss academic and scientific cooperation with deans and professors from U-M’s Medical School, School of Public Health and School of Engineering.
Highlighting the visit is a special public seminar on October 10 by AUB President Dr. Fadlo Khuri, “Lifting the Quality of Health for the Middle East & North Africa,” which will be followed by an open panel discussion with the AUB delegation. The seminar is set for 10 a.m. at the Kahn Auditorium in the A. Alfred Taubman Biomedical Science Research Building. Click for more seminar details.
PANELISTS FROM THE AUB DELEGATION:
Dr. Fadlo Khuri, President
Dr. Mohamed Sayegh, Executive Vice President & Dean of Medicine
Dr. Alan Shihadeh, Dean of Engineering & Architecture
Dr. Iman Nuwayhid, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences
Dr. Sami Azar, Head of the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Director of the Diabetes Program
Dr. Assad Eid, Director of Diabetes Program
Dr. Eva Feldman went on WTKA, Ann Arbor’s sports talk radio, with Ira Weintraub to recap Hoops Fight ALS, which took place August 2 and 3. Former members of the basketball family came together to support a very exciting new therapeutic target in the battle against this disease with a weekend of events that included a private dinner, a golf tournament at Moose Ridge Golf Course and a weeklong online auction open to the public. Dr. Feldman and Weintraub recap an emotional Friday dinner that included a video from former coach Steve Fisher and an on-stage interview by sportscaster Tracey Wolfson of new coach and former player Juwan Howard. Dr. Feldman spoke about the exciting research the weekend benefited.
Former members of Michigan Wolverine basketball joined the ALS Center of Excellence for Hoops Fight ALS—a program of events to raise money for the University of Michigan’s ALS clinic and its research. The weekend was the brainchild of Josh Stoler, Mark Hughes, Louis Bullock and Alan Schrager, who were inspired by members in their community who are battling the disease, including Mark Fisher, the son of former U-M basketball coach, Steve Fisher.
A private evening of friends, science and fun kicked off the festivities Friday night at the Michigan League, highlighted by a program hosted by CBS sportscaster Tracy Wolfson, who is a Michigan Wolverine herself. In an emotional video Coach Fisher spoke about the importance of supporting those fighting this disease and how his son Mark is such an inspiration, and still works with the basketball program at San Diego State. Current head coach at that university, Brian Dutcher – who served under Coach Fisher at both U-M and San Diego State – flew in from the West Coast to support the cause.
Dr. Eva Feldman, director of the ALS Center, described her laboratory’s research, which the weekend would be benefiting, in particular the repurposing of an immunotherapy drug already approved by the FDA to be used to treat ALS patients. To cap off the program, Fab Five member and new U-M basketball coach, Juwan Howard, spoke with Wolfson about what it is like to be back on campus and why he took the time to support Hoops Fight ALS.
Other notables from the basketball family at the evening’s event were Jerod Ward, Maceo Baston, Butch Wade, Chris Young, Dion Harris and Terry Mills, along with Ira Weintraub from WTKA Sports Talk 1050, and Josh Richelew and Bruce Madej from U-M Athletics. Karen Goldberg, who was an event sponsor attended, along with Ronnette Coleman, Tim Brown, Marty Fischhoff of Detroit Public Television, Dr. Adam and Beck Rubin and ALS Center National Advisory Board members, Scott Pranger, Harold Burrell, Jr., Christina Clark and John Scarbrough. Also there from the ALS Center for Excellence and Dr. Feldman’s Program for Neurology Research and Discovery were Dr. Stephen Goutman, Dr. Mike Ritter, Dr. Ben Murdock, Sandy Lemkin, Dr. Philip Choi, Brian Coltman, Jayna Duell, Betsy Taylor, Matt Trevor, Shoshanna Fischhoff and Scott Dent.
On Saturday, a number of members from both the basketball and ALS families headed out to Moose Ridge Golf Course in South Lyon, kindly donated by Bill Shortt DDS, for a scramble tournament, which was won by a group of four including Scott Pranger, Harold Burrell, Jr., former U-M basketball player, Mark Hughes and Ronald Reinke.
Hoops Fight Against ALS was capped off by a week-long online auction, which was open to the public. The items that were available to bid on included some unique experiences, including a four-day, three-night package for the 2019 Battle 4 Atlantis Basketball Tournament in the Bahamas, seven-day lodging in the Turks & Caicos and premium tickets to sporting events – U-M football tickets on the 50-yard-line against Notre Dame, the latter of which came with a catered tailgate; U-M basketball tickets against Michigan State; courtside seats for the Detroit Pistons and players club seats for the Detroit Red Wings.
A special thank you to the sponsors of Hoops Fight ALS: David Forbes, Numotion Foundation, VReps, Bank of Ann Arbor, Gail and Art Danto, Kathy and Tom Goldberg and Charlie Rothstein.
GRAND RAPIDS – Eva Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., the Russell N. DeJong Professor of Neurology and Director of the ALS Center of Excellence, was the keynote speaker for the Susan Mast ALS Foundation luncheon on May 20. More than 120 members of the West Michigan ALS community congregated at the University Club in Grand Rapids to hear Dr. Feldman’s presentation.
Dr. Feldman focused her talk on ALS research and the possible reasons why the state of Michigan has one of the highest rates of ALS in the United States. In February, Dr. Feldman and first author Stephen Goutman, M.D., M.S., associate director of the ALS Center of Excellence, published new findings about the impact that environmental toxins have on ALS development and progression. The research was conducted using blood samples from ALS patients in Michigan.
“We have discovered that environmental toxins, including pesticides and flame retardants, increase the likelihood of developing ALS,” says Feldman. “We are using cutting-edge technology to determine how these toxins alter the body’s metabolism and lead to ALS.”
Following her presentation, Dr. Feldman joined Dr. Paul Twydell from Spectrum Health and Dr. Joel Phillips from Mercy Health for a panel discussion about ALS research and care that incorporated questions from the audience. Dr. Feldman elaborated upon other research taking place at U-M — how genetics are a factor in ALS susceptibility, the goal of repurposing an existing drug for treatment in ALS, and the future of stem cell transplantation.
To begin the luncheon, Dr. Feldman was introduced by Sherry Schuen, who is a Grand Rapids resident that receives care from the U-M Multidisciplinary ALS Clinic. A few days prior to the event, Mrs. Schuen was featured by the ABC-affiliated TV station in Grand Rapids. Also, she and Dr. Feldman took part in a PBS-produced panel discussion about ALS earlier in May.
The University of Michigan baseball team held its inaugural ALS Awareness Game on May 7 when it defeated Michigan State, 7-0, at the Wilpon Complex, home of Ray Fisher Stadium. In addition to promotional activities around the facility, both U-M and MSU wore #StrikeoutALS stickers on their batting helmets.
Showing their support for ALS Awareness, in addition to all affected by ALS, were the clinical and research teams from Michigan Medicine’s ALS Center of Excellence. Dr. Eva Feldman, director for the Center, and Dr. Stephen Goutman, clinical director for the Center, were on hand for the game. Dr. Goutman had the privilege of throwing out the first pitch.
The Michigan baseball program’s coaching staff has been significantly impacted by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. U-M Head Coach Erik Bakich and U-M Assistant Head Coach Nick Schnabel both played for East Carolina University during the 1999 and 2000 seasons under the direction of Head Coach Keith LeClair. In 2001, LeClair was diagnosed with ALS and he passed away in 2006. To honor their coach’s memory, both Bakich and Schnabel wear the number 23 jersey at U-M.
“First and foremost, I am very thankful for Coach Bakich, who requested our participation in the Strikeout ALS Game,” said Dr. Feldman, who is the Russell N. DeJong Professor of Neurology. “In our conversation leading up to tonight, I learned that he’s very devoted to helping us understand the cause of ALS and develop new treatments. He and Coach Schnabel have a direct connection to Lou Gehrig’s disease, so they have a deep-rooted appreciation for how important it is to continually research new ways to help patients and their loved ones.”
On the airwaves, play-by-play announcer Ira Weintraub spoke to Dr. Feldman during the second inning about the challenges of ALS and how she and her staff are fighting the disease.
“I am so appreciative for the University of Michigan baseball team’s continued efforts to raise awareness for ALS,” said Goutman, who is an associate professor of neurology. “Over the past seven months they have taken part in the Hot Pepper Challenge, Mustache March and, of course, Tuesday’s Strikeout ALS Game. In addition to research and patient care, part of our mission at Michigan Medicine’s ALS Center of Excellence is to educate our community, and an event like Strikeout ALS is a terrific opportunity to do just that. I hope we can make this an annual event. Personally, I enjoyed getting to throw out the first pitch, meeting the players and spending some time with Coach Bakich, who is passionate about ALS.”
Prior to and during the game, ALS Center of Excellence staff members distributed ALS information fliers, scorecards with “Strikeout ALS” emblazoned on them and answered questions from patrons. Several people stopped by to share a story about a loved one who had been affected by ALS.
October 8, 2018
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The University of Michigan ice hockey team will host its third annual ALS Awareness Game on October 26 at Yost Ice Arena when it faces St. Lawrence University at 7:30 p.m.
The Michigan hockey program has been significantly impacted by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Scott Matzka, who played for U-M from 1997-2001 and assisted on the goal that gave the Wolverines the 1998 NCAA Championship, was diagnosed with ALS in 2014. Former Michigan player Jim Ballantine (1988-1991), died from ALS in 2002. And Joe Feudi, the husband of former Yost Arena business office manager Jill Feudi, is also fighting the disease.
The event is held in conjunction with Michigan Medicine’s ALS Center of Excellence, which specializes in treating ALS patients and conducting groundbreaking ALS research. The Center will be represented on the concourse by physicians,
researchers and clinical staff to help fans better understand just how devastating the neurodegenerative disease is to patients and their families. Additionally, information about ALS will be featured periodically on the Yost Ice Arena video boards.
“Each week in the clinic we see how ALS profoundly impacts lives,” said Stephen Goutman, M.D., clinical director of the ALS Center of Excellence. “We work closely with our laboratories to understand how ALS progresses – and hopefully learn how we can finally stop it. Increasing awareness about ALS is critical to our work, and having the Michigan hockey program in our corner is incredibly valuable.”
“As a former Wolverine hockey player, I am extremely proud and excited to see how the Michigan hockey program has shown support for me and the ALS cause,” Matzka said in an email. “Ultimately, I am so moved by the hockey program and former teammates with their level of support! It means so much to me and my family!”
Game attendees are encouraged to use #IceALS on social media platforms to further extend awareness about the disease. Visit the event website, https://www.uofmhealth.org/iceals, for more details and history of the event.
Tickets can be purchased at mgoblue.com/tickets.
ALS is a disease that steadily kills the nerves that control muscles. Patients lose the ability to control their limbs, facial muscles, swallowing, and eventually, the ability to breathe. Typically, patients die between 2-5 years after diagnosis. There is no known cure.
But ALS wreaks havoc on patients’ families as well. Many ALS-related medical services are not covered by insurance, and care for ALS patients is so intensive that family members frequently have to give up their jobs. Medical expenses and lost income amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The multidisciplinary clinic of the ALS Center of Excellence provides a wide range of service to ALS patients, including physical, occupational and respiratory therapists, a nutritionist, a social worker, and a chair specialist – all of which are important to ALS patients and their families. The clinic fund covers services that aren’t billable to insurance.
“Each service we provide is necessary for the independence, mobility and well-being of our patients,” said Eva Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., research director of the ALS Center of Excellence. “These patients couldn’t function without those services. But too often they have to be covered by monies that would otherwise go to ALS research. It’s a terrible conundrum that these patients face daily.”
To make a donation or to learn more about the University of Michigan ALS Center of Excellence, please visit www.umich-ALS.org.
October 3, 2018
DETROIT — Eva Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., the Russell N. DeJong Professor of Neurology and Director of the Program from Neurology Research and Discovery, was a featured speaker at Sound Health: Music and the Mind on September 27 at Henry Ford Hospital. Renée Fleming, a world-renowned soprano and the Kennedy Center Artistic Advisor at Large, established the Sound Health initiative. Fleming has been involved with the National Institutes of Health and the National Endowment of the Arts, in the exploration of the power of music therapy as it relates to a number of neurologic disorders. The four-time Grammy Award winner wants to bring to light the connection between music, health, and medical research in the neurosciences.
“Today we are riding a wave of scientific discovery in music and neuroscience, and I’m fascinated by the breadth of the research being conducted,” remarked Fleming, who performed at the Detroit Opera House on September 29. “Beyond its ability to enthrall and entertain, music can offer a host of health benefits – from childhood development to therapeutic applications for Alzheimer’s disease, autism, post-traumatic stress disorder, Parkinson’s disease and chronic pain.”
Feldman, a clinician-scientist who has dedicated her career to using scientific discoveries to understand and cure neurologic diseases, further stated, “Any tools we can use to improve brain function and improve quality of life for individuals with neurologic conditions are incredibly important. The changes music can induce in the brain are fascinating, and I highly support continued research and efforts that raise awareness of its application in this realm.”