Letter from the Director

Healey LogoWelcome to the Sean M. Healey & AMG Center for ALS at Mass General. Our core goals are to provide compassionate care for people with ALS, provide access to the best treatments to all our patients and boldly accelerate the development of effective treatments through lab based and clinical research. We hope that the information found here increases your understanding of ALS and of the research opportunities available to unlock ALS and develop new treatments.

Through our ALS Multidisciplinary Clinic, we are honored to provide exceptional care to our patients and their families. Our team cares for people and families with ALS at our Center and through both virtual and home visits. Responsive to the needs of our patients and families, we constantly create new programs. We partner with local groups such as Compassionate Care ALS and ALS One to ensure that all our patients have access to all resources. Our lab researchers and clinicians work seamlessly together to provide every patient with information to make choices that are right for them.

Also at the Healey Center for ALS, our faculty and staff are leaders in innovative, bold and collaborative research to understand the cause of ALS, targets for treatments and clinical trials. Our research tackles all phases of the discovery continuum – from genetic and molecular research in the laboratory to digital apps that can measure physical changes at home. Our patients have opportunities to participate in clinical trials, including expanded access programs. We provide expert guidance to provide our patients the most appropriate treatment options.

Our team is already a global leader in ALS clinical trials and has developed several programs that are accelerating ALS science and bringing us closer to new treatments for ALS. Together with my colleagues, we co-founded the Northeast ALS Consortium (NEALS) in 1995, the first collaborative ALS research consortium. NEALS includes over 120 ALS centers of excellence across North America and internationally – the network brings efficiency to clinical trials and care to patients near their homes. In collaboration with NEALS, Healey Center faculty and staff developed several innovative ALS research programs whose samples and data are freely shared with researchers across the world to ignite additional research projects. We established and manage the ALS Living Library, a large bio-repository of ALS samples; we developed PRO-ACT, the world’s largest database of participants in ALS trials, and we helped train generations of ALS investigators and research staff that are now leading ALS research globally. We recently partnered with scientists, industry, non-profits and the patient community to design, sponsor and carry out the first platform trial for ALS in the world. The HEALEY ALS Platform Trial will allow us to test more treatments than was ever possible using traditional trial designs.

Our ALS Multidisciplinary Clinic is supported by the Muscular Dystrophy Association and through the generous support of individual contributions. Our research programs are funded by several foundations, the federal government and through the generous support of individuals. We hope your experience with the Healey Center for ALS is a positive one and provides you with the information that empowers you. It is our pleasure to serve you.

Sincerely,

Merit Cudkowicz, MD, MSc
Director of the Sean M. Healey & AMG Center for ALS
Chief of Neurology at Mass General
Director of Neurological Clinical Research Institute
Julieanne Dorn Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School 
Co-Founder and past Co-Chair of Northeast ALS Consortium