“Ride for Life” Organization Donates $500,000 for ALS Clinical Trials Program at Stony Brook

University News

“Ride for Life” Organization Donates $500,000 for ALS Clinical Trials Program at Stony Brook
Matched by the Simons Challenge Grant, the Gift will total $1 Million

Christopher Pendergast, through proceeds from the Ride for Life organization, is donating $500,000 for the development of an ALS Clinical Trials Program at Stony Brook. With Pendergast are: Patricia K. Coyle, M.D., Professor and Acting Chair, Department of Neurology; and Kenneth Kaushansky, M.D., M.A.C.P., Senior Vice President for the Health Sciences, and Dean of the School of Medicine.

STONY BROOK
, N.Y., April 3, 2012 – Christopher Pendergast, who has battled amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) for 19 years, is donating $500,000 through proceeds from the 
Ride for Life
organization he founded, to support the development of an ALS Clinical Trials Program at the Stony Brook ALS Center of Excellence named in his honor in 2010. The 
Christopher Pendergast ALS Center of Excellence
 is the only ALS Association certified center on Long Island. The gift will be matched by the 
Simons Challenge Grant,
 providing a total impact of $1 million to help fund clinical research in hopes of finding a cure for ALS, a fatal disease.
 
ALS is a neurological disorder also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. It is characterized by progressive degeneration of nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain. The breadth of research in ALS continues to grow. There has been progress in understanding ALS disease pathogenesis and in new approaches to potential treatments based on stem cell therapies, gene therapies, and immunotherapy.
 
“Clinical research is an important component in the search for a breakthrough treatment against this devastating disease,” says Samuel L. Stanley, M.D., President of Stony Brook University.
“Christopher’s generous gift will enable the University to advance its collaborative ALS research and for the Center of Excellence to expand its use of promising treatments to patients through the development of new clinical …

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