Ice Bucket Challenge led to largest ALS genomic sequencing study in US


Five years after the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness and funds for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis research went viral online, the ALS Association has released a report detailing the 2014 challenge's sizable effect on ALS research, including in the field of genomics.

"The Ice Bucket Challenge has been transformative in the field of ALS genomics. We built one of the largest resources of ALS whole genome-sequencing data," said Hemali Phatnani, PhD, director of the Center for Genomics of Neurodegenerative Disease. "This resource has been shared with partners all over the world. It has accelerated the pace of ALS gene discovery and has led to the largest ALS sequencing study in the United States."

Additionally, in the years since the challenge, the ALS Association has increased its annual funding for research by 187 percent and expanded the number of clinical providers in its network from 100 to 156. The National Institutes of Health has also invested $415.9 million in ALS Association-funded researchers since 2014, and the number of those research projects increased by several hundred.

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