How Stony Brook is Meeting the ALS Challenge: The Christopher Pendergast ALS Center of Excellence

ALSRecertificationPhotowebNamed in 2010 in honor of Christopher Pendergast, a 21-year ALS patient, advocate and founder of the Ride for Life Organization, Stony Brook University’s ALS Center of Excellence is one of only 34 ALS Association-certified centers in the United States and three in New York State. The Center provides comprehensive treatment for ALS patients, supportive services for patients and their families, and carries out neuroscience research in search of new treatments, and ultimately a cure for this fatal neurodegenerative disease.

The ALS Association cited the Center as having the “highest national standards of care in the management of Lou Gehrig’s disease.” To commemorate this milestone, the association awarded the Center with a $12,500 grant and a plaque marking its designation. “Stony Brook Medicine is committed to investigating the causes of this devastating disease and finding neurobiology targets that may greatly improve treatments,” said Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, Senior Vice President for the Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine. “The Center has provided incredible care for those who suffer with ALS, and with new treatment trials we hope to advance this care to an even higher level.”

“The dream to find a cure continues,” said Pendergast, who conceived the concept of a comprehensive ALS clinic at Stony Brook 15 years ago that led to its establishment. “Stony Brook has created something special with this Center of Excellence, and its talented physicians and researchers continue to search clues that may bring us to the doorstep of that cure.” Pendergast said his Ride for Life Organization will continue to fund ALS research and clinical services at the Center. He estimated that through the proceeds from this year’s “Ride for Life” event in May, more than $150,000 will be awarded this year for the Center to help fund its ALS research programs and other initiatives.

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