Alejandro Garcia, who began working with Project ALS in 2009 as a research technician, and eventually lab manager of the Jenifer Estess Stem Cell Lab in New York, revolutionized the process of ALS drug screening in stem cell models of the disease. Once a laborious process that depended on limited samples from ALS patients, ALS drug screening has since become faster and more efficient using stem cell models, due to the work of Alejandro and other Project ALS researchers.
On May 16th, 2018, Alejandro graduated with a MA in Biotechnology from Columbia University, receiving a Certificate of Thesis Research Distinction—an award created in response to his thesis on the development of motor neuron reporters using CRISPR, with ALS research in mind. Moving forward, the award will be given to the most impressive thesis in the MA Biotechnology program at Columbia.
Alejandro now works as a Senior Staff Associate- Genome Editing Lead at the Columbia University Stem Cell Core Facility. Alejandro represents one of several Project ALS-funded researchers who have changed the landscape of research for the larger ALS research community and shown tremendous progress and growth under Project ALS’ eye. Alejandro has a long future of innovation and discovery ahead of him.
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