Wade Self has dedicated the past 10 years to research focused on the development on new treatments for neurological diseases, including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a disease Fraternity members know well. The motivation behind Wade’s interest in advancing the understanding of these diseases stems from a family history of Alzheimer’s Disease, as well as his involvement in philanthropic efforts for The ALS Association as a brother in The Bond. Wade has experienced first-hand the devastating nature of how these diseases affect both patients and the caregivers (family, friends) that must watch helplessly as their loved ones succumb to incurable conditions. Wade’s passion lies in the vision of a future where these diseases are obsolete, and he believes science holds the key to that future.
Wade received his PhD in neuroscience from Washington University in St. Louis in the summer of 2018. During his graduate school tenure advised by Dr. Timothy Miller, Wade’s research focused on improving ALS clinical trial design, while also developing new technologies to determine if experimental therapies for hitting their intended targets in the brain and spinal cord during these trials. Wade secured research grants from the National Institute of Health and The ALS Association to perform his research in preclinical disease models and a clinical study in human subjects with ALS. Wade published three research articles in scientific journals detailing his work, and co-authored a book chapter with Dr. Miller describing the potential of a new class of therapeutics, antisense oligonucleotides, for the treatment of ALS.
Wade is now a scientist at Abbvie Inc., developing new technologies in the development of Alzheimer’s Disease therapeutics. Although Wade’s research focus has shifted to, many believe that advancement in one disease area may lead to significant breakthroughs for other neurological conditions, as they share similar mechanisms of pathology in the brain. As Wade walks into the laboratory each day, he thinks about Lou Gehrig, his grandfather, and all of the other incredible individuals who have endured suffering at the hands of these diseases. He fights for them every day, and he will continue to do so throughout his scientific career.