PROJECT HOPE: A Beacon of Light in the Fight Against ALS

Under Dr. Erik Pioro's leadership, PROJECT HOPE aims to revolutionize ALS care and research in British Columbia.

February 15, 2024

Under the leadership of neurologist and ALS researcher, Dr. Erik Pioro, PROJECT HOPE emerges in 2024 as a pioneering initiative with a bold and visionary agenda for the next 3-5 years. Our mission is to ignite a beacon of hope for everyone touched by Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)—from patients and their families to caregivers, clinicians, specialists, researchers, and beyond. At the heart of our efforts are the individuals bravely facing ALS, to whom we dedicate our unwavering commitment to make a significant difference.

As ALS patients and caregivers engage with PROJECT HOPE, they will find our Clinical Care Team ready to provide comprehensive support tailored to their needs. Based at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health (DMCBH) on the University of British Columbia campus, we offer a sanctuary for those able to visit. For our distant community members, our innovative telemedicine services and mobile clinics ensure you receive our care, regardless of your location.

Dr. Pioro is at the forefront of assembling a world-class ALS Clinical Care Team, bringing together specialist staff including occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists, nutritionists, social workers, and nurses. Future plans include expanding the team to include respiratory therapists and neuropsychologists, alongside a dedicated research nurse or nurse practitioner who will bridge clinical trial research with patient care.

The ALS Clinical Research Team stands as a cornerstone of PROJECT HOPE, inviting patients to partake in groundbreaking clinical trials and research endeavors aimed at finding a cure for ALS. This team will be instrumental in advancing our understanding of ALS through the collection of crucial clinical data and biological samples for our comprehensive ALS database and biorepository.

Our commitment extends into the realm of basic research, where we are poised to expand our laboratory-based ALS research efforts. By translating bench discoveries into promising novel therapies, we aim to identify biomarkers critical for understanding disease causation, progression, and response to experimental therapies. Collaborations with neuroimaging experts and fellow UBC researchers will enhance our capability to monitor the disease’s impact and explore new avenues for treatment. Housing these dedicated teams within the UBC DMCBH represents a critical step forward in our collective quest to eradicate ALS. 

PROJECT HOPE is more than a project; it’s a movement towards understanding, treating, and ultimately defeating ALS. We pledge to keep the community informed through annual reports, highlighting our progress and evolving strategies based on our continuous learning. We welcome your continued partnership in this ambitious journey, fueled by hope and driven by science, as we strive to turn the tide against ALS. Your interest, support, and engagement are crucial to our success. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those affected by this devastating disease.

Given this evolution to PROJECT HOPE’s original budget and new, recognized costs related to relocating the ALS Clinic, and as the ALS Society of BC has raised an additional $3,526,356 to date, on behalf of the ALS Society of British Columbia and PROJECT HOPE, I am requesting the Province of British Columbia match the funds already raised by the Society in the amount of $3 million, please. A grant request is before the Minister of Health, Adrian Dix for consideration.

We have already made great progress in revolutionizing care for those living with ALS in British Columbia and our current trajectory will ensure that the Province will become one of the preeminent, Canadian locations for the research that will eventually cure ALS. This will be done through our partnerships and by creating a world-class ALS Centre at UBC.

Thank you for your service to British Columbia and for your support to our grant application.


Wendy Toyer's Signature

Wendy Toyer, Executive Director

ALS Society of British Columbia
#1228 – 13351 Commerce Parkway, Richmond B.C. V6V 2X7
Phone: 604-278-2257 ext. 222
Cell: 778-999-6257
Email: [email protected]
ALS Society of BC Website:
Member International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations Member ALS Canadian Alliance | Email: [email protected]