Lucie Bruijn, Ph.D.
Lucie Bruijn, Ph.D., joined The ALS Association in January 2001 as Science Director and Vice President. Prior to joining The Association, Dr. Bruijn led a small team at Bristol Myers Squibb developing in vitro and in vivo model systems for neurodegenerative disease. She focused on developing an improved mouse model for Alzheimer’s disease and established assays for high throughput screens. She worked with the genomics group and used array technology to look for new therapeutic targets. Realizing the potential of stem cell therapy for neurodegenerative diseases, her team worked with experts in academia to establish stem cell studies.
Dr. Bruijn received her bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Rhodes University, South Africa. She received a master’s degree in neuroscience and a Ph.D. in biochemistry, specializing in disease mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease, from the University of London, United Kingdom. She joined Dr. Don Cleveland’s laboratory in 1994 where she developed and characterized a mouse model of ALS (mice expressing the familial-linked SOD1 mutation). Using this model her studies focused on disease mechanisms. In addition, in collaboration with Dr. Robert Brown, she looked for neurofilament mutations in familial and sporadic ALS patients.
At The ALS Association, Dr. Bruijn leads The Association’s scientific research enterprise. She has expanded on the existing grant programs, launching a groundbreaking new research initiative Translational Research to Advance Therapies for ALS (TREAT ALS) with the goal to move treatment options from “bench to bedside.”
She has made it a priority to collaborate with other funding agencies, in particular the National Institute of Health and many other not-for-profit ALS organizations, as well as other foundations focusing on neurodegenerative research. These collaborations ensure that increased dollars are spent on ALS research. She is involved in project development, encouraging partnerships with academia and biotech, and has played a key role in forging collaborations amongst investigators. It is her strong belief that only through collaboration among a wide range of disciplines will there be success in changing the course of ALS and finding a cure.
Through participation at scientific meetings, both nationally and internationally, The ALS Association receives wide-spread recognition amongst the scientific community.
Dr. Bruijn represents The Association on several scientific and research committees world-wide and acts as advisor to scientists, government officials and industry leaders seeking council in the field of ALS research. She continues to publish in the field in peer-reviewed journals and remains actively engaged in understanding the most recent research developments.