Neurologist Teepu Siddique MD, the Les Turner ALS Foundation/Herbert C. Wenske Foundation Professor at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, is a clinician-scientist who has directed the Division of Neuromuscular Medicine and the Les Turner ALS Foundation Laboratory at Northwestern since 1991. Dr. Siddique’s research has focused on the molecular genetics of several neuromuscular diseases, particularly amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, commonly called Lou Gehrig disease) and ALS with dementia. He has employed a range of strategies to identify several genes that cause inherited ALS, particularly SOD1, ALSIN, FUS, UBQLN2 and SQSTM1, as well as additional genetic loci. His research team developed the first animal model of for any neurodegenerative disease, the SOD1 transgenic mouse in 1994. Since then they have developed several other models, using them to study disease mechanism and test potential therapies. His recent work with UBQLN2 and SQSTMI demonstrated that a defect in protein degradation pathways is a common disease mechanism in all types of ALS, sporadic as well as inherited, and the ALS-dementias. This has paved the way for targeted, and therefore effective, treatments of ALS. A recent editorial in the journal Neurology, the most widely read and quoted journal in the field, cited both Dr. Siddique’s identification of the first causative gene in ALS in 1993 and his team’s 2010 report of malfunction in the ubiquitin-proteasome system as paradigm shifts in understanding ALS.
Professor Siddique has received numerous national and international awards, including the first Shelia Essey Award in ALS from the American Academy of Neurology, the Hope through Caring Award from the Les Turner ALS Foundation and the Forbes Norris Award from the International Alliance of ALS-MND Associations.