The ALS Society of BC and the University of British Columbia (UBC) are pleased to announce Dr. Erik Pioro has been appointed to the ALS Society of BC Professorship in ALS Research.

“I am delighted that Dr. Pioro is joining the UBC Faculty of Medicine to provide leadership and catalyze research collaborations that will accelerate the development of lifechanging treatments for people with ALS,” says Dr. Dermot Kelleher, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Vice-President, Health at UBC. “Dr. Pioro brings decades of experience caring for thousands of people with ALS and conducting leading-edge research spanning the mechanisms of neurodegeneration in ALS to clinical trials of novel therapies to slow the progression of a disease that harms far too many lives in BC communities and globally. This truly is a hopeful step forward on our path to curing ALS.”

With many promising ALS therapies currently in late-stage clinical trials, and the UBC Faculty of Medicine poised to accelerate translational research, it is a critical time to invest in building research capacity in ALS in BC. As part of PROJECT HOPE, the ALS Society of BC, in partnership with the Province of BC, contributed $5.3M to establish the ALS Society of BC Professorship in ALS Research. The ALS Society of BC has also committed a further $1.5M over 10 years to support the professorship and pledged to raise an additional $20M to create a world-class ALS Centre at UBC.

“I am honoured to take the lead for PROJECT HOPE. We will work diligently to create opportunities for persons living with ALS to have access to clinical trials here at the University of British Columbia. Our goal for ALS research at UBC is to become a leader not only nationally but also internationally,” says Dr. Pioro. “We look forward to collaborating with our clinicians and researchers working on other neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, frontotemporal dementia, and Parkinson’s since we will now all be located at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health at UBC.”

Dr. Pioro comes to UBC from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, where he is Medical Director of the Neuromuscular Division and Vice-Chair of Translational Neurology. He was also previously Director of the Section of ALS & Related Disorders at the Cleveland Clinic for over 20 years. He will officially start his role at UBC in March 2024.

“Dr. Pioro’s extensive expertise in motor neuron diseases and strong background in neuroimaging will complement our team of talented clinician-scientists who are working on research and treatment for ALS and other neurodegenerative disorders,” says Dr. Lynn Raymond, Director of the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health. “His leadership will not only strengthen translational research but also improve patient care and enable expanded access to clinical trials in British Columbia. We look forward to welcoming Dr. Pioro to the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health as we continue to advance brain health across the lifespan.”