Research & Patient Center
Lab of Dr. Teepu Siddique
The research laboratory led by Teepu Siddique, MD, focuses on understanding the processes by which ALS develops so that effective treatments can be developed. The lab was first dedicated by the Les Turner ALS Foundation in 1979 and has been directed by Dr. Siddique since 1991.
Dr. Siddique, the Les Turner ALS Foundation/Herbert C. Wenske Foundation Professor, is a physician-investigator with expertise in the neurology, molecular genetics, biochemistry and cell biology of neurodegenerative disease. He is the director of the Division of Neuromuscular Medicine at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine and a neurologist co-directing the Lois Insolia ALS Clinic. His research in neurogenetics has been generously funded by the National Institute of Health since 1985.
Dr. Siddique and his colleagues in the laboratory and center carry out a wide range of molecular genetic experiments to understand the causes of ALS, identify biomarkers to diagnose and track ALS progression, and conduct drug trials to treat ALS. Dr Siddique initiated the molecular genetic approach to ALS in 1984 which lead to the successful identification of many genetic causes for ALS including SOD1, ALSIN, PON, FUS, TDP-43, SQSTM1 and UBQLN2. He and his colleagues have identified a common pathology for all of ALS involving ubiquilin2 and SQSTM1. His group has engineered several models for ALS including the first genetic model for neurodegeneration. His current research includes discovery of novel causes for ALS, the gene-environmental interaction in ALS and a common mechanism of disease amenable to therapeutic intervention. A mechanism involving the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway and autophagosome machinery, involved in recycling of cellular contents, was discovered by his team in 2011 and found to be modulated by ubiquilin2/SQSTM1 class of proteins. This molecular pathway appears to underlie all types of ALS irrespective of cause, and provides an attractive target for treatment. Dr Siddique’s group has made an animal model for this pathway and are developing cell-based assays to screen drugs to treat ALS.
The Siddique Laboratory maintains a Neurologic Diseases Registry that contains more than 16,000 blood samples and 120 autopsied ALS cases.
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