Our laboratory is interested in understanding the pathogenic mechanisms that trigger neurodegeneration in the central and peripheral nervous systems and identifying effective therapies using a multifaceted approach consisting of active programs in basic, translational and clinical research. Our projects are detailed on our website (www.pnrd.umich.edu) and focus on understanding how conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and diabetes damage nerve cells. We are a leading laboratory concerning the use of stem cell technologies to understand ALS pathogenesis and develop new and exciting cellular therapies for ALS. I am the Principal Investigator of the first phase I trial examining the safety of intraspinal stem cell transplantation in ALS patients. Furthermore, we have established the University of Michigan ALS Repository for the Study of Human Health and Disease which contains detailed clinical histories and lifestyle profiles from ALS patients, along with skin and blood samples for laboratory research use. Another major area of interest in my laboratory addresses the critical need to understand and identify treatments for diabetic complications, specifically diabetic neuropathy. Our goals are to identify the role of metabolic dysfunction in diabetic neuropathy and elucidate the basic mechanisms of neuronal degeneration in diabetes. We have access to well-characterized animal models of diabetic complications and a unique repository of complication-prone tissue samples from patients which serve as the foundation for comprehensive mechanistic and systems biology-level characterizations. This level of knowledge, supported by two multi-investigator initiatives, is revolutionizing the field and supports our efforts to improve neuropathy diagnosis and identify novel treatment targets. Through the MCubed program, we are seeking to further maximize upon our expertise and support new projects focused on bioinformatics approaches to understand the neurodegeneration that occurs in diabetes in order to identify novel treatment targets for diabetic complications.
Callaghan BC, Little AA, Feldman EL, Hughes RA. Enhanced glucose control for preventing and treating diabetic neuropathy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 6:CD007543, 2012. PMID: 22696371.
Sakowski SA, Feldman EL. Insulin-like growth factors in the peripheral nervous system. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am, 41(2):375-93, 2012. PMID: 22682636.
Callaghan BC, Cheng HT, Stables CL, Smith AL, Feldman EL. Diabetic neuropathy: clinical manifestations and current treatments. Lancet Neurol, 11(6):521-34, 2012. PMID: 22608666.
Riley J, Federici T, Polak M, Kelly C, Glass J, Raore B, Taub J, Kesner V, Feldman EL, Boulis NM. Intraspinal stem cell transplantation in ALS: A phase I safety trial, technical note & lumbar safety outcomes. Neurosurgery, EPub ahead of print, 2012. PMID: 22565043.
Glass JD, Boulis NM, Johe K, Rutkove SB, Federici T, Polak M, Kelly C, Feldman EL. Lumbar intraspinal injection of neural stem cells in patients with amytrophic lateral sclerosis: results of a phase I trial in 12 patients. Stem Cells, 30(6):1144-51, 2012. PMID: 22415942.