Frick Foundation for ALS Research
Frick Foundation for ALS Research
FRICK FOUNDATION FOR ALS RESEARCH
Dr. Guy A. Rouleau

professor in the Department of Medicine at the Université de Montréal

Dr. Guy A. Rouleau is a neurologist and geneticist. He received his degree in Medicine from the University of Ottawa in 1980 and a degree in Genetics from Harvard University in 1989. He is currently a professor in the Department of Medicine at the Université de Montréal. In addition to his research activities, Dr. Rouleau is Head of the CHU Ste-Justine Research Centre, he is Director of the Centre of Excellence in Neuromics of Université de Montréal (CENUM), and Director of the Réseau de médecine génétique appliquée (RMGA) of the Province of Quebec.

Over the past twenty years, Dr. Rouleau’s projects have mainly focused on gaining understanding of brain and nervous system diseases. During this period he has identified over a dozen disease-causing genes, uncovered new mechanisms causing genetic diseases, and worked on a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms that lead to disease symptoms. His work focuses on a number of neurological and psychiatric diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, familial aneurysms, cavernous angiomas, epilepsy, spinocerebellar ataxias, spastic paraplegia, autism, Tourette Syndrome, Restless Legs Syndrome, and schizophrenia.

Dr. Rouleau trained a large number of scientists and physicians who, today, work at universities across Canada, the United States, Japan, Brazil, Australia, and Europe. He has published more than 400 scientific papers, many of which in prestigious journals such as Nature, Science, Nature Genetics and The American Journal of Human Genetics. Dr. Rouleau received numerous awards for his contributions to science and society. In 2007, he was nominated Officer of the Ordre National du Québec, the highest distinction given by the Quebec government.

Dr. Erik Storkebaum

Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Muenster (Germany)

Erik Storkebaum, Pharm., Ph.D., is an independent Research Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Muenster (Germany) since June 2010. Dr. Storkebaum combines Drosophila and mouse genetics to study the molecular mechanisms of motor neurodegenerative disorders. More specifically, his research aims at deciphering the role of RNA biogenesis in ALS pathogenesis. Furthermore, he also studies the molecular pathogenesis of Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) neuropathy associated with mutations in tRNA synthetases.

Dr. Storkebaum has performed his post-graduate studies (2000-2005) at the Vesalius Research Center of the Flanders’ Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) and University of Leuven (Belgium), in the laboratory of Dr. Peter Carmeliet. During his PhD, supported by a prestigious fellowship of the “Fund for Scientific Research (FWO)-Flanders”, Dr. Storkebaum studied the role and therapeutic potential of the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) in ALS, using transgenic mice and rats. During this period, he performed two internships at the University of Maastricht (The Netherlands), respectively in the fields of stereology and pharmacology. For his postdoctoral studies (2005-2010), again supported by a fellowship of FWO-Flanders, Dr. Storkebaum switched to Drosophila genetics, in the laboratory of Dr. Patrick Callaerts at the same institute. Using Drosophila, he was the first to develop an animal model for CMT associated with mutations in tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase, and could show that loss of aminoacylation activity of this enzyme is neither necessary nor sufficient to cause neurodegeneration in this form of CMT.

Dr. Storkebaum has received a number of awards for his research, including the Pharmaleuven Prize for best undergraduate thesis, the Baron Simonart Prize for his PhD thesis, and the Galenus Prize, together with Dr. Diether Lambrechts, for preclinical pharmacological studies on the therapeutic potential of VEGF for ALS.