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ALS Research: Developments Past, Recent and Future 

February 10, 2019 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Panel Discussion by World-Leading Chicago Area Physicians and Scientists

Physicians from Northwestern University and University of Illinois at Chicago are leading the world in cutting-edge research to find a cure for ALS. Hear from panelists Dr. Hande Ozdinler, the pioneer of upper motor neurons research; Dr. Richard Silverman, inventor of pharmaceutical products such as Lyrica; and Dr. Gerardo Morfinia, who is collaborating with Dr. Ozdinler to harness how neurons receive, process and transmit information. Moderated by Doug McConnell of “A Long Swim,” whose family has been personally affected by this devastating disease.

It is an exciting time to be involved in ALS research. The pace of discovery is accelerating all the time, and those discoveries are yielding scientific breakthroughs leading lead to early detection and treatment for patients who have been diagnosed with this horrific disease. 

Barrington area citizens and donors have played a vital role in this progress. In addition to their generous contributions to A Long Swim which is a foundation that funds ALS collaborative research, Barrington people have selflessly supported Bob Lee’s Ride for Three Reasons, the Les Turner ALS Foundation, ALS Association and other ALS nonprofits. Thanks to them and the donations that supported ALS during the worldwide phenomenon of the Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014, ALS research around the globe is better funded than any time in history.  Chicago is a world-class collaboration of ALS research, setting the trend for ALS research among scientists around the world. 



  • Dr. Hande Ozdinler, a tenured Ph.D leading the Ozdinler Lab at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, who has pioneered research of upper motor neurons as they relate to ALS. 
  • Dr. Richard Silverman, Patrick G. Ryan/Aon Professor of Chemistry at Northwestern University, who is a drug chemist. Dr. Silverman is credited with inventing a number of successful pharmaceutical products, including Lyrica. 
  • Dr. Gerardo Morfini, Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology, College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Morfini has collaborated closely with Dr. Ozdinler on various projects to understand the unique ability of neurons to receive, process, and transmit information. 

Moderator – Doug McConnell, an investment banker and founder of A Long Swim, a nonprofit that uses open water marathon swimming to raise awareness and funds for ALS research. McConnell has raised over $500,000 for ALS research by swimming the English Channel, Circumventing the Island of Manhattan and swimming the Catalina Channel, earning the honor of open water swimming’s triple crown.

This event features a reception and cash bar.


February 10, 2019
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
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Barrington Cultural Commission




Barrington’s White House
145 West Main Street
Barrington, IL 60010 US
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ALS Research: Developments Past, Recent and Future  | Barrington's White House