Future Perspectives

The process of discovery and therapy development in neurologic disorders will be catalyzed by expanding the research program of NDAL into the following directions:

:: Extending the already considerable tissue repository that the lab has developed. Specifically, a library of hundreds and eventually thousands of DNA samples from cases and controls that are carefully phenotyped would be a resource of considerable impact, not only within Turkey but for investigators everywhere. This should undoubtedly be predicated on DNA collection but might powerfully be extended to other tissues, including autopsy specimens.

:: Establishing a network of clinicians, both for acquisition of tissue samples and as a forum for clinical investigation. In this aspect, the establishment of a Neurodegenerative Disease Consortium in Turkey, with the assistance of clinicians and family organizations would be an important goal. NDAL welcomes every opportunity to serve as a hub in arranging a well-structured consortium.

:: Increasing the knowhow in the utilization of next generation technologies and bioinformatics for discovery/evaluation of new disease causing genes.

:: Developing biomarkers for early diagnosis via exploiting large families with several diseased cases and prodromic individuals.

:: Initiating and accelerating functional research by establishing in-house colonies of useful lines of model animals, including ALS mice (SOD1G93A, alsin (-/-), FUSmutant (Robert Brown collaboration), lines of HSP mice, and perhaps new lines relevant to study of corticospinal motor neurons (Jeffrey Macklis collaboration).