Eva Feldman, M.D., Ph.D.
Russell N. DeJong professor of Neurology
Director of the Taubman Institute
Director of the Program for Research & Discovery
New Hope in the Battle against ALS
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) — also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease — is a neurodegenerative disorder that causes nerve cells to weaken and die. Some 30,000 Americans currently have the disease, which progressively destroys the neurons that control voluntary muscles, leaving affected people unable to move, speak and eventually breathe. It is almost invariably fatal, and until now, there has been no effective treatment.
Eva Feldman has been studying ALS her entire medical career, and after years of painstaking laboratory study, has developed the first stem cell treatment for the disease. With the support of Taubman Institute funding, she is currently leading a human clinical trial to test this new therapeutic approach, which represents the first time that stem cells have been injected into the human spinal cord. The trial is now in Phase 2, and so far 28 patients have undergone this revolutionary therapy, with no serious side effects.
At the same time, her team of scientists is working to improve the ability of the stem cells to deliver life-preserving proteins to the nerve cells under attack in ALS. They are also adapting this stem cell model to the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, which afflictes more than 5 million people in America alone.
Besides being the director of the Taubman Institute, Feldman also directs the U-M Program for Neurology Research Discovery, whose 30 scientists study a wide variety of nerve diseases, including muscular dystrophy and spinal cord injury. She is one of the world’s authorities on diabetic neuropathy. Last year she discovered a previously unknown link between triglycerides, a common fat in the blood, and the progression of nerve damage in patients. Her laboratory is working to understand the mechanism behind this connection and ways to help preserve nerve function through therapeutic intervention.
Taubman-sponsored research offers breast tumor insights
Taubman Emerging Scholar Dr. Scott Tomlins has authored a new study about phyllodes tumors.
New U-M President visits Taubman Institute
The Institute hosted a fellow clinician-scientist when the University of Michigan’s new president paid a visit to the A. Alfred Taubman Biomedical Science Research Building.
Familial ALS affects generations
Detroit News column featuring Dr. Eva Feldman depicts the toll of the disease on one Metro Detroit family
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In the News
PBS series features institute director on Jan. 18
"The Embrace of Aging," a documentary series airing Sundays at 2:30 p.m. on Detroit Public Televsion, features Taubman Institute Director Eva Feldman, M.D., Ph.D. and her landmark ALS stem cell trial in the Jan. 18 episode.
Drug cuts risk of bone-marrow transplant side effect
Taubman Emerging Scholar Sung Won Choi, M.D., is the lead author of a new study that finds a new way to help prevent graft-vs-host disease in cancer patients receiving bone-marrow transplants.
Study: Two types of cancer stem cells lead to metastasis
Breast cancer stem cells exist in two different states and each state plays a role in how cancer spreads, according to a new study published by Taubman Senior Scholar Dr. Max Wicha.