Skip to main content

22 February 2022

Dr Ahmad Al Khleifat receives MND Association Fellowship and the ALS Association's Milton Safenowitz Fellowship

These fellowships will facilitate Dr Al Khleifat to work on large-scale genetic analysis in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Ahmad Al Khleifat

The MND Association Non-Clinical Fellowship fellowship will support Dr Al Khleifat’s project on reclassification of two neurodegenerative diseases, Motor Neurone Disease and Frontotemporal Dementia, based on a combination of biological measures. Reclassification will enable the identification of overlapping disease mechanisms and allow the development of the best targeted therapeutic approaches and treatments. The fellowship, first awarded in 2015, is funded by the MND Association with support from donors. 

Dr Al-Khleifat also received the 2022 ALS Association’s Milton Safenowitz Postdoctoral Fellowship. The award was established by the Safenowitz family, through The Greater New York Chapter of The ALS Association, in memory of Mr Safenowitz, who died of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in 1998. The fellowship supports the development of early career researchers and facilitates their entry to the ALS field. 

The MND Association Fellowship and the ALS Association’s Milton Safenowitz Fellowship is a crucial step for my scientific career and would allow me to lead my own project and set my career on the path to leading my own world-class team as an internationally recognised scientist in the field of personalised medicine in neurodegeneration

Dr Ahmad Al-Khleifat

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal disease affecting the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing progressive weakness of the muscles. The average age of onset is 60 years and death usually occur three years after the first symptoms due to respiratory failure. Although there are some treatments that can slow disease progression by a few months, there is no cure available to date. ALS is the most common form of Motor Neurone Disease (MND). 

Dr Al Khleifat’s current work focuses on disease gene identification through next generation sequencing, coupled with advanced data analysis to deliver diagnostic tools for complex disease genetics. His research will focus on multiomics comparative analysis using big data to develop methods and diagnostic tools for researchers and clinicians. These will be tools for gene identification and biomarkers in affected individuals to help improve diagnostic testing, mapping disease progression, and personalised healthcare.

Dr Al Khleifat is a Research Fellow in the Al-Chalabi Group in the Basic and Clinical Neuroscience at the School of Neuroscience. He is the Chair of Trans-Ancestral Genetics working group in Project MinE, an international collaboration to map the full DNA profiles of at least 15,000 people with ALS for comparative analysis. Additionally, Dr Al-Khleifat leads The Drug Discovery and Trials Optimisation Working Group in the DEMON international network for data science and Artificial Intelligence (AI) application to dementia. 

In this story