b'18ABSTR ACT / BIOGR APHYAlison L. ONeil, Ph.D.Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry,Department of Neuroscience and Behavior, Wesleyan UniversityModeling ALS with Human Stem Cell Derived Motor NeuronsAmyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrigs disease in the USA, is a terminal, fast acting, neurodegenerative disease with no cures.Motor neurons are the specific target; leaving the patient immobile and eventually unable to breathe. The ONeil lab utilizes stem cells to access the exact cell type affected in ALS. Dr. ONeil will present on her research using stem cell derived motor neurons to investigate potential environmental toxicants relating to the onset of sporadic ALSwhich makes up 90% of cases.Dr. Alison ONeil received her B.S. while doing proteomics research with Prof. Anna Tan-Wilson at Binghamton University. She then went on to join the Research and Development Team at LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals (now Takeda Vaccine) working on a virus-like particle platform vaccine for Norovirus.In 2008, she joined the Chemistry and Biochemistrydepartment at Montana State University and earned her Ph.D. under Prof. Trevor Douglas. At MSU, she was awardedthe Graduate Excellence award for the class of 2013.Her Ph.D. research exploited the self-assembling properties of bacteriophage P22 toengineer nanomaterials.During her post-doctoral studies, Dr. ONeil worked on modeling and understanding neurodegenerative diseases using human stem cells at Harvard University and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. This work included projects involving Parkinsons disease, ALS, and schizophrenia. While at Harvard, she authored collaborative work with Google, Vertex,and Biogen Idec.Joining Wesleyan in the summer of 2018, her labs research combines her love of protein biochemistry and stem cell training by investigating the roleof protein aggregates in the progress of neurodegeneration.'