In recognition of the critical need for new treatments for ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, the UMass ALS Cellucci Fund is a movement to drive awareness and funding for the ALS breakthroughs happening at UMass Medical School (UMMS) and in the laboratory of Robert H. Brown, Jr., DPhil, MD, one of the world’s leading and most promising ALS researchers.The Cellucci Fund aims to help Dr. Brown and his colleagues pursue ALS research leads and breakthroughs right now that might otherwise take years to attract funding from traditional sources. As a result, this Fund will make researchers at UMMS better prepared to “seize the moment” when highly promising ALS discoveries are made.In 2011, former Governor of Massachusetts and Ambassador to Canada, A. Paul Cellucci announced that he had been diagnosed with ALS and was being treated at UMMS by Dr. Brown. Cellucci died from complications of the disease on June 8, 2013. He was 65.
Dr. Brown, the Leo P. and Theresa M. LaChance Chair in Medical Research and chair of the Department of Neurology at UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Medical Center, is widely recognized as a pioneer in neurodegenerative disease research and for more than 30 years has dedicated his career to unlocking the secrets of ALS, a degenerative disorder that causes progressive muscle weakness, leading to paralysis and eventually death. There is currently no treatment to stop or reverse ALS. Dr. Brown has been a leading visionary for ALS treatment and part of nearly every fundamental ALS breakthrough to-date, including the identification of mutations in a gene that is responsible for the rare, familial form of the disease. Dr. Brown’s work has opened a window into ALS that has drastically changed the research landscape and provided patients and loved ones touched by ALS with something very rare: hope.
Now is the time. There is hope. But, victories are a team effort. Join us in the fight back against ALS.