MND Australia has awarded a $1.05 million Ice Bucket Challenge Grant to the Sporadic ALS Australian Systems Consortium. Associate Professor Ian Blair of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences will lead the project with Professor Naomi Gray of the University of Queensland’s Brain Institute. This project will be the largest collaborative MND project undertaken in Australia.
Sixteen researchers from nine MND centres throughout Australia will construct integrated infrastructure for the collection and analyses of patient samples and clinical data. Diagnoses in 90% of all MND cases is sporadic, an isolated case with no family history. This project will use the latest developments in technology to collectively identify genetic risk factors for MND through whole genome sequencing.
All the funds for the grant came from Australians who donated to the MND Research Institute of Australia during last year’s Ice Bucket Challenge. This is the single largest grant MND Australia has ever awarded and is thanks to the more than 30,000 Australians who donated money. The Sporadic ALS Australian Systems Genomics Consortium was the highest ranked application out of seven national submissions.