London Health Sciences Centre
339 Windermere Road
London Ontario Canada
Phone: (519) 663 - 3874
Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS)
Motor Neuron Diseases
Professor and Co-Chair, Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences
Dr. Michael Strong is Director of the London Motor Neuron Diseases Clinic at the London Health Sciences Centre and the Arthur J. Hudson Chair in ALS Research. He undertook his undergraduate training in biochemistry and medicine at Queens University in Kingston (1976 – 1982), neurology training at the University of Western Ontario (1982 – 1987), and post graduate training at the Laboratory of Central Nervous System Studies (Director - D. Carleton Gadjusek, Nobel Laureate) at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland under the supervision of Ralph M. Garruto, PhD (1987 - 1990).
Dr Strong is a scientist at the Robarts Research Institute, Chief of Neurology and Co-chair of the Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences at the London Health Sciences Centre and the University of Western Ontario. He has also served as co-chair of the Canadian ALS Research Consortium and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the ALS Society of Canada. Dr Strong is the editor of the text “ Dementia and Motor Neuron Disease” and a co-editor with Professor Pamela Shaw of the text “Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis” (Blue Book Series).
Dr. Strong was awarded the Sheila Essay Award from the American Academy of Neurology in April 2005 for his research into the pathogenesis of ALS.
His research has focused on understanding the cellular biology of ALS and has led to an understanding of the mechanisms by which intracellular deposits of protein (composed primarily of neurofilament) are formed, and how these aggregates contribute to the disease process of ALS. This has led to Dr Strong’s laboratory defining novel mRNA binding proteins that contribute to alterations in the stability of neurofilament mRNA in ALS. This includes TDP-43, 14-3-3 proteins and mutant copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (mtSOD1) proteins – each of which has been found to be linked to the pathogenesis of protein aggregates in ALS. In addition, both his clinical and laboratory research have focused on understanding the nature of cognitive changes in ALS. This has led to a series of studies, ultimately demonstrating that cognitive changes in ALS are associated with alterations in the metabolism of tau protein. This discovery represents a fundamental shift in our understanding of the biology of ALS.