Meet Ghazaleh Sadri-Vakili, PhD, one of Project ALS’s newest researchers. Dr. Sadri-Vakili is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and the Director of the NeuroEpigenetics Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital. The Sadri-Vakili Lab is interested in identifying common pathways across neurodegenerative diseases, with a particular focus on ALS. Currently, and in collaboration with Dr. Rudolph Tanzi and Dr. Ana Griciuc, Dr. Sadri-Vakili is using drugs to target neuroinflammation and pathways involved in innate immunity. Her lead ALS drug is cromolyn sodium, which was originally marketed to treat asthma. Based on data generated by the Tanzi Lab in Alzheimer’s disease mouse models, Dr. Sadri-Vakili is testing whether cromolyn sodium confers neuroprotection and extends survival in ALS mice. One of the big pros of this drug is its delivery: through an inhaler.
Motor neurons project out to the muscles in our limbs to drive muscle contraction, allowing us to speak, breathe, and move. These cells are housed