• Ahmad Al Khleifat


Ammar Al-Chalabi, Bradley Smith, A. Nazli Basak, Jan H. Veldink, Marc Gotkine, Wouter van Rheenen, Ruben Cauchi, Monica Povedano, Nortina Shahrizaila, Azlina Binti Ahmad Annuar, Simon Topp, Hanna Demissie, Marina Kennerson, Pedro Cruz, Suzanna Edgar, Alfredo Iancoangeli, Jonathan Mill.



Large genome wide association analyses have been performed on many thousands of genomes using microarrays and short-read whole-genome sequence data to discover new ALS genes. With every gene discovery, the next discovery becomes more difficult because the remaining genes are more likely to be rare or of small effect and were missed by previously used methods. There is a growing need to expand Project MinE in different parts of the world as most of the large-scale projects have been done in populations with homogeneous ancestry or in populations of low diversity, which might be useful in finding the genes most strongly involved, but is probably not enough to tackle an entire disease. The large and disproportionate genetic study of populations of European descent (96%), leaves very little room for understanding the diversity of ALS genetic architecture worldwide. Therefore, for the great benefit the Trans-Ancestral Genetics working group was created. The overall aim of this working group is to diversify genetic research in ALS to include diverse, multi-ethnic populations to accurately represent ALS genetics-related disease risks in all populations.


  1. Raising awareness of the importance of including multi ethnic populations in ALS research. Highlighting the importance and the benefits of including diverse a population as an essential catalysts of research success.
  2. Diversifying genetic research in ALS. This can be achieved by utilizing existing data from Project MinE and by increasing the sample size from multi-ethnic populations. Furthermore, diversity is not limited to data and the definition should be extended to include researchers from different background, age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation, with the aim to achieve equality, diversity and inclusion.
  3. Funding to generate new GWAS and WGS data. Securing funding is fundamental to achieve a sustainable research environment, therefore, together with other working group PI’s we aim to secure funding to generate genotype data from underfunded and understudied countries.