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The ALS Association Golden West Chapter hosts "Ask the Experts"  educational symposiums throughout the year. Participants have an opportunity to hear presentations and ask questions about important aspects in clinical care and promising developments in research from some of the top ALS specialists and researchers in the world. These community events are open to the public and presented free-of-charge.  For more information, please email us at asktheexperts@alsagoldenwest.org


Previous Ask the Experts Events:

February 17, 2018 - Kaiser Moanalua Medical Center

Speakers included:

  • John R. Bach, MD
    Medical Director & Professor of Neurology,
    Center for Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation
    Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
    Rutgers University

  • John Costello, MA, CCC-SLP
    Director, ALS Augmentative Communication Program
    Boston Children’s Hospital

  • Mark Bromberg, MD, PhD
    Professor of Neurology, University of Utah

  • Paul Mehta, MD Principal Investigator
    National ALS Registry

  • Kevin Horton, DrPH Chief,
    National ALS Registry

  • Pamela Jacobson, MS, CCC-SLP
    Vice President of Care Services,
    The ALS Association Golden West Chapter

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January 20, 2018 - Stanford University

Speakers and topics included:

  • Advances in Respiratory Assistive Devices for ALS
    Michelle Cao, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Division of Sleep Medicine

  • Swallowing and Saliva Management in ALS
    Neelam Goyal, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Neurology & Neurological Sciences
    Sarah Stranberg, MA CCC-SLP, Speech & Language Pathologist

  • Introduction to the Genetics of ALS
    Jacinda Sampson, MD, PhD, Neurogeneticist

  • Radicava: Putting the Pieces Together
    Connie Wolford, MSN, FNP-BC, Neuromuscular Nurse Practitioner

  • Hope for Tomorrow: Advancing the Search for a Cure
    Presented by members of the California ALS Research Network

  • Lucie Bruijn, PhD, MBA,
    Chief Scientist, The ALS Association

  • John W. Day, MD, PhD,
    Director, Neuromuscular Disorders Program and Professor of Neurology & Neurological Sciences, Pediatrics & Pathology, Stanford Medicine

  • Aaron Gitler, PhD,
    Professor of Genetics, Stanford University Medical School

  • Robert Baloh, MD, PhD,
    Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Department of Neurology

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January 14, 2017- University of Southern California

Speakers and topics included:

  • Pamela Jacobson, MS, CCC-SLP, MBA
    Vice President of Program Services
    The ALS Association Golden West Chapter

  • The Human Side of Facing ALS/Practical Tips
    Scott Miller, MD,
    Chief, Department of Neurology, Kaiser Permanente South Bay
    Medical Director, Kaiser Permanente South Bay ALS Clinic

  • Guided Meditation/The Importance of Using Your Social Worker
    Julie Ziegler, LCSW, Medical Social Worker
    Kaiser Permanente South Bay

  • Managing Your Care
    Barbara Myers, RN, ALS Case Manager
    Department of Neurology, Kaiser Permanente South Bay

  • Cognitive Impairment in ALS Patients
    Nasheed Jamal, MD
    Director, ALS Multidisciplinary Clinic
    Associate Chief of Neurology, Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System

  • Navigating the Clinical Trial Landscape
    Peggy Allred,
    Research Program Administrator,
    Neuromuscular Program Manager, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

  • Updates from the California ALS Research Summit and the winners of the inaugural Barber ALS Research Award
    Clive Svendsen, PhD.
    Chair, California ALS Research Summit
    Director; Regenerative Medicine Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

  • Updates from The ALS Association's Research Program
    Lucie Bruijn, PhD, MBA,
    Chief Scientist, The ALS Association

  • ALS Clinical Trial Update and Challenges
    Jeffrey Rosenfeld, PhD, MD, FAAN
    Director, Neuromuscular ALS/MND Programs
    Loma Linda University School of Medicine

  • Stem Cells and ALS
    Larry Goldstein, PhD
    Director, UC San Diego Stem Cell Program

  • Using Stem Cells to Discover New Treatments
    Justin Ichida, PhD,
    Assistant Professor. Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine
    University of Southern California


July 12, 2016 - Honolulu

Speakers included:

  • Multidisciplinary Care & ALS
    Dallas Forshew, RN, BSN
    Research Manager, CPMC


January 9, 2016 - University of California, San Diego


Speakers and topics included:

  • How do we navigate complex waters?
    John Ravits, MD, UCSD

  • ALS Clinical Research Overview, Resources, and Current Studies
    Sahana Malik, Clinical Research Coordinator

  • Communication and Swallowing Management with ALS
    Lindsey Schaefer, MS, CCC-SLP

  • Inside the ALS Clinic
    Susie Morrell, RN

  • Nutrition Care for ALS
    Cayleigh Mackay, RD

  • Respiratory Care in ALS
    Garner Faulkner II, BSRC, RRT, AE-C

  • Maximizing Independent Living
    Kim Bond, OTR/L, ATP, CLT
    Occupational Therapist

  • External and Internal Resources
    Debbie Wais, LCSW, Clinical Social Worker

  • Attaining Benefits for Qualified Veterans
    Captain Robert Kamei
    National Service Officer, Paralyzed Veterans of America

  • Equipment Loan Closet/Extended Network of Resources
    Renee Buel, Care Services Manager,
    The ALS Association Greater San Diego Chapter

  • Barbara Newhouse
    President & CEO
    The ALS Association

  • Outcomes from the 6th Annual California ALS Research Summit
    Clive Svendsen, PhD
    Chair of the California ALS Research Network
    Chair at RMI, Cedars-Sinai

  • Stem Cells/iPS
    Ashkan Javaherian, PhD
    Gladstone Institutes

  • Upper Motor Neurons and ALS
    Gretchen Thomsen, PhD
    Cedars-Sinai

  • Origins of ALS
    John Ravits, MD, UCSD

  • Updates from The ALS Association and TREAT ALS
    Lucie Bruijn, PhD, MBA,
    Chief Scientist,The ALS Association


October 29, 2015 - Honolulu

Speakers and topics included:

  • Brandon K. Hirota, MD,
    Neurology Associates

  • Multidisciplinary Care & ALS
    Richard A. Lewis, MD,
    Director, Center for ALS Care at Cedars Sinai Medical Center

  • Latest in ALS Clinical Trials
    Stacy A. Rudnicki, MD,
    Director, ALS Center, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

  • Update on the National ALS Registry
    Steve Gibson. Chief Mission Strategy & Public Policy Officer,
    The ALS Association

  • Fred Fisher, MSW, LCSW,
    President & CEO,
    The ALS Association Golden West Chapter


July 12, 2015 - Honolulu

Speakers included:

  • Justin Ichida, PhD,
    USC Stem Cell

  • Fred Fisher, MSW, LCSW, President & CEO,
    The ALS Association Golden West Chapter


January 31, 2015 - Gladstone Institutes, San Francisco


Speakers and topics included:

  • Multidisciplinary Care for ALS and ALS-FTD
    Catherine Lomen-Hoerth, MD, PhD, Professor, University of California, San Francisco
    Director, The ALS Treatment and Research Center University of California, San Francisco

  • 7 Components of a Highly Effective Communication System
    Amy Roman, MS, CCC, SLP
    Director, AAC Loan Library, Golden West Chapter
    AAC Specialist, Forbes Norris ALS Center, CPMC

  • 7 Best Ways to Maintain Lung Health in ALS
    Lee Guion MA, RRT, FAARC
    Neurorespiratory Clinical Specialist,
    Forbes Norris ALS Center, CPMC

  • An update on exercise for people with ALS:Why, when, and how?
    Andrew Lui, PT, DPT
    Associate Professor, University of California, San Francisco
    Physical Therapist, The ALS Center at UCSF

  • A+ Nutrition for ALS
    David Besio, MS, RD
    Clinical Dietitian, The ALS Center at UCSF and Forbes Norris ALS Center, CPMC

  • Clive Svendsen, PhD
    Director, RMI, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
    Chair, California ALS Research Network
    Investigator, Neuro Collaborative Research Initiative

  • Don W. Cleveland, PhD
    Chair, Cellular and Molecular Medicine, UCSD
    Member, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research
    Member, California ALS Research Network
    Investigator, Neuro Collaborative Research Initiative

  • Steven Finkbeiner, MD, PhD
    Associate Director, Gladstone Institutes
    Member, California ALS Research Network
    Investigator, Neuro Collaborative Research Initiative

  • Lucie Bruijn, PhD, MBA
    Chief Scientist, The ALS Association
    Member, California ALS Research Network


January 14, 2014 - University of California, Fresno

UCSF Fresno

Speakers and topics included:

  • Current Research and Treatment Advances:  A State of the Art-
    Jeffrey Rosenfeld PhD, MD, FAAN, Chief of Neurology UCSF-Fresno

  • Treating Motor Neuron Disease: Hopeful Alternatives from Head to Toe
    Erin Singleton SLP, Irvin Marquez RRT, Claire Dias RD, Will Freeman PT
    Neurology Associates. Central California Neuroscience Institute

  • Members of the California ALS Research Network


September 20, 2013 - Queen's Medical Center, Honolulu

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Speakers and topics included:

  • J.Douglas Miles, MD, PhD, Neuromuscular Specialist,
    The Queen's Medical Center

  • Katherine Krammer, MS, CCC-SLP, RN,
    Speech Language Pathologist, The Queen’s Medical Center

  • Julie Seman, PT  and Wendy Tsutsui, OT,
    The Queen’s Medical Center

  • Fred Fisher, MSW, LCSW, President & CEO,
    The ALS Association Golden West Chapter


November 17, 2012 - Cedar-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles

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Speakers and topics included:

  • Catherine Lomen-Hoerth, MD, PhD,
    Director, The ALS Center at UCSF

  • Ilyssa Abaranok, M.S. CCC-SLP, AAC Specialist,
    The ALS Association Golden West Chapter

  • David Beals, ATP and Brett Zaer, ATP, Superior Mobility

  • Lucie Bruijn, PhD, Chief Scientist, The ALS Association

  • Robert H Baloh, MD, PhD, Director, Cedars-Sinai ALS Center

  • Don W. Cleveland, PhD, Departmental Chair of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, UCSD

  • Clive Svendsen, PhD, Director, Cedars-Sinai RMI


October 12, 2011 - University of California, Los Angeles 

Speakers and topics included:

  • Discussion about Familial ALS (fALS)
    Greg Merfeld, advocate and person with fALS
    Steve Gibson, Chief Public Policy Officer, The ALS Association

  • Clinical Trials for ALS
    Robert Miller, MD
    Medical Director, Forbes Norris ALS Research Center

  • Overview of the ALS California Research Summit
    Clive Svendsen, PhD,
    Director, Cedars-Sinai RMI 

  • The Role of the Protein TDP43 in ALS
    Robert H Baloh, MD, PhD,
    Director, Cedars-Sinai ALS Center

  • Updates on the TREAT ALS Program
    Lucie Bruijn, PhD
    Chief Scientist, The ALS Association

  • ISIS Study Update
    Richard Smith, PhD
    Director, Center for Neurologic Study

  • Winner of the Prize4Life ALS Biomarker Challenge
    Seward Rutkove, PhD
    Chief of the Division of Neuromuscular Disease,
    Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center