Symposium

Of Rising Scholars

Fall 2024

Srishti will be presenting at The Symposium of Rising Scholars on Saturday, September 21st! To attend the event and see Srishti's presentation.

Go to Polygence Scholars page
Srishti Iyer's cover illustration
Polygence Scholar2024
Srishti Iyer's profile

Srishti Iyer

Class of 2025Suwanee, Georgia

About

Hello! My name is Srishti Iyer and my project is about looking into a therapeutic mechanism for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenarative disease, and using biotechnology to develop a treatment that enhances quality of life and lifespan post-diagnosis of the disease. I chose this project because I read Lou Gehrig's farewell speech that described the reason for his leave from baseball: ALS. His condition inspired me to help those who may be facing a similar condition that could alter the very trajectory of their life. I hope to publish my research.

Projects

  • "What are the current states of treatment for ALS and their impacts on patients’ health?" with mentor Lananh (July 20, 2024)

Project Portfolio

What are the current states of treatment for ALS and their impacts on patients’ health?

Started Jan. 17, 2024

Abstract or project description

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease that impairs the function of motor neurons, paralyzing an individual's movement and muscular functionality. While the cause is typically unknown, 5-10% of ALS cases are caused by a genetic mutation in the SOD1 gene, and the C9orf72 gene. ALS is an extremely rare disease, affecting only around 30,000 people in the United States. However, it has a very low survival rate, with only 10% of all ALS patients surviving 10 years after disease onset. Currently, there are several pharmacologic therapies approved for the treatment of ALS in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These drugs have been developed to partially correct the SOD1 mutation in ALS or block cellular and neurological pathways related to motor neuron damage in ALS patients. According to multiple clinical studies, these drugs either unsuccessfully treat ALS or are only able to prolong a patient's lifespan up to several months. Scientists are exploring multiple novel therapies that can target the root of the problem, whether it be damaged neurons, genetic implications, or muscular functional inhibitions. These therapies include gene therapy, monoclonal antibody therapy, and stem cell therapy. While extensive research is required to further develop and understand these novel therapies for the treatment of ALS, current data reveal tremendous potential for long-term impact, as these treatments can directly target ALS, rather than focusing on a select few symptoms like conventional approaches, ultimately making new approaches to ALS therapy more sustainable for the future. This paper will discuss and evaluate the current therapies approved for ALS treatment, as well as explore new proposed therapies and evaluate their potential efficacy.