P. Hande Ozdinler, Ph.D.
Dr. Ozdinler, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Neurology and received training in the fields of molecular biology and genetics (BS- Bogazici University), biotechnology and chemical engineering (MS-Bogazici University), and earned PhD in the fields of cell biology, anatomy, and neuroscience (LSU Health Sciences Center). She then joined the Neurosurgery Department at MGH (postdoctoral fellow- Harvard Medical School), and received the Harvard NeuroDiscovery fellowship (HCNR). She became the founding director of the second Les Turner ALS Laboratory at Northwestern, which focuses on the biology and pathology of upper motor neurons (UMNs). She is the recipient of NUCATS Translational Innovation and CLP Cornew Innovation awards.  Her research is focused on the improvement of the health of diseased UMNs and identification of biomarkers that inform on the timing and extent of UMN loss.  She is also a faculty member of the Chemistry Life Sciences Processes Institute, Les Turner ALS Center, Mesulam Center for Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease, and Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Research Center. She is the Scientific Director of A Long Swim, and her research is funded by NIH, NIA, and numerous foundations.
Merit Cudkowicz, MD, MSc
Dr. Merit Cudkowicz is the Chief of the Massachusetts General Hospital Neurology Service, Director, Sean M. Healey & AMG Center for ALS at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Julieanne Dorn Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Dr. Cudkowicz is one of the founders and former co-directors of the Northeast ALS Consortium (NEALS), a group of over 140 clinical sites in the United States, Canada, Europe and the Middle East dedicated to performing collaborative academic-led clinical trials and research studies in ALS. She is leading the first Platform Trial initiative in ALS and is also the Principal Investigator of the Clinical Coordination Center for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke’s Neurology Network of Excellence in Clinical Trials (NeuroNEXT). Dr. Cudkowicz mentors neurologist in careers in experimental therapeutics.
Nicholas John Maragakis, M.D.

Dr. Maragakis is the Medical Director of the Johns Hopkins ALS Clinical Trials Unit and Director of the ALS Center for Cell Therapy and Regeneration Research and Professor of Neurology at Johns Hopkins University. The Center for ALS Specialty Care at Johns Hopkins is a world recognized leader in providing medical care offering the latest in clinical trials and therapies to ALS patients.

A common theme to his research has been in the study of the astrocyte biology and its role in disease pathogenesis with a particular emphasis in how astrocytes may contribute to ALS.

His laboratory in collaboration with others, has been interested in the development of induced pluripotent stem cells from ALS patients. His laboratory has created numerous iPS cell lines from familial and sporadic ALS patients as well as controls. His current efforts have been to characterize iPSC-derived motor neurons and astrocytes both in vitro and in vivo with an effort towards understanding disease mechanisms; in particular modeling ALS disease heterogeneity with regard to disease progression.

Dr. Maragakis has also been heavily involved in clinical research as the principal investigator, site principal investigator, or co-investigator of numerous clinical trials in ALS, many coordinated by the Northeast ALS Consortium on which he has served as an Executive Board member and currently a member of the Scientific Advisory Board.

Dr. Maragakis has received several awards for his outstanding research efforts and received the Certification of Meaningful Use Stage 1 EHR from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2013. He is member of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and the Northeast ALS Consortium (NEALS).

Dr. Maragakis received his bachelors of science degree and medical degree from the University of Utah and completed his residency and fellowship training in neurology at John Hopkins University.

Hiroshi Mitsumoto, M.D., D.Sc.
Hiroshi Mitsumoto, MD, D.Sc., has been the Wesley J. Howe Professor of Neurology at Columbia University Medical Center since 1999 and the Director Emeritus (since 2019) of the MDA/ALS Clinical Research Center.  In 1968, he graduated at the top of his class from Toho University School of Medicine, Tokyo. From 1972, he pursued further medical and neurology training at Johns Hopkins University, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic, and Tufts University. In 1983, he established the ALS Clinic at Cleveland Clinic, one of the first such multidisciplinary ALS Clinics in the country and began working at the Cleveland Clinic as the Director of the Neuromuscular Section and ALS Center. He has since been involved with extensive research in ALS, including improving patient care/management and end of life issues, multiple clinical trials, biomarker development, and multisite epidemiological studies.  He organized several large national and international ALS Conferences and is currently updating and developing the new International ALS Clinical Trial Guidelines. He was a member of Steering Committee of several clinical trials in ALS and served as a Chair of ALS Association Medical Advisory Board and Chair of ALS Center Certification Committee for ALS Association.  He received the Donald C. Mulder Award for achievement, leadership, and dedication in ALS from ALS Association in 1996, the Forbes H. Norris Award for Compassion and Love for Humanity in Research and Treatment in Patients with ALS from the International ALS Symposium and International ALS Alliance in 1998, Lou Gehrig Memorial Award from the MDA in 2000, and Diamond Award from the MDA Wings Over Wall Street in 2002.  He has published more than 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals, mostly in ALS, in addition to reviews, chapters, and books. He has been named one of the Best Doctors in America since 1996 and America’s Top Doctors for the past several years. One of his edited books, ALS: A Guide for Patients and Families, is currently in its 3rd edition.  For more than a decade, his research interests have expanded to PLS.
Jinsy A. Andrews, M.D., M.Sc.
Jinsy A. Andrews, M.D., M.Sc. currently serves as the Director of Neuromuscular Clinical Trials at Columbia University. In addition to overseeing neuromuscular clinical trials, she cares for people with neuromuscular disorders, primarily with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). She is the co-chair of the Northeastern ALS Consortium (NEALS) which is a network of over 130 ALS clinical centers and is also a national Board of Trustee for the ALS Association. She is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and serves on the AAN Science Committee.

Dr. Andrews received her B.S. from Union College, her M.Sc. in Biostatistics (Patient-Oriented Research) from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, and her M.D. from Albany Medical College. Dr. Andrews completed her residency in Neurology at the University of Connecticut and completed fellowship training in both Neuromuscular Medicine and Clinical Neurophysiology at Columbia. Dr. Andrews is board certified in Neurology, Neuromuscular Disease, and Electrodiagnostic Medicine.