Fondazione AriSLA

“We have been working for more than 10 years alongside researchers studying ALS because we believe in them and in the strength of scientific research, the only means that can to build therapeutic solutions for people with ALS”

Mario Melazzini, Presidente di Fondazione AriSLA ETS

Fundamental landmark

We are the main non-profit organization that funds and promotes the excellence of scientific research on ALS in Italy and we represent a fundamental landmark for the entire Italian scientific community interested in studying this disease, acting in our country as a catalyst and engine of research in this field.

Our Foundation was born in 2008 thanks to four excellent organizations in the philanthropic and scientific field, AISLA Onlus, Fondazione Cariplo, Fondazione Telethon ETS and Fondazione Vialli e Mauro per la Ricerca e lo Sport Onlus, who committed to create an organization solely dedicated to support the best scientific research on ALS.

Our mission

Support, coordination and promotion of excellence in ALS research in Italy.


Since 2009 we annually launched 15 competitive calls addressed to researchers and clinicians operating in public or private non-profit institutions in Italy, to select the most promising and innovative projects.


We monitor funded projects to ensure good fund management and assess the impact of the investment. We promote the development of synergies among researchers, encouraging the growth of a critical mass of Italian research centers focused on ALS and supporting collaborations with the international scientific community.


We disseminate the scientific results of the funded projects and provide constant updates on scientific progress at national and international level. We organize dissemination events, such as the annual scientific conference, webinars and seminars.


The institutional organs of the Foundation provided for by the Statute are the Board of Directors, the President, the Secretary General, the College of co-founders, the Scientific Advisory Board and the Board of Auditors.

The current President of the AriSLA Foundation is Mario Melazzini.

The Scientific Advisory Board consists of five members appointed by the Board of Directors, representatives of scientific research and international organizations dealing with ALS, that support the Foundation in identifying strategic priorities for research.

The current members of AriSLA’s Scientific Advisory Board are:

  • Stanley H. Appel, Director, Ann Kimball & John W. Johnson Center for Cellular Therapeutics, Co-Director, Neurological Institute, Houston Methodist (Huston, TX, US), Professor of Neurology at Weill Cornell Medical College, (New York, NY, US).
  • Lucie Bruijn, Therapeutic Area Lead, NIBR, Novartis (Basel, CH).
  • Brian G.M. Dickie, Director of Research Development at The Motor Neurone Disease Association, (Northampton, UK).
  • Piera Pasinelli, Director, Jefferson Weinberg ALS Center; F&J Weinberg Professor in Neuroscience at Thomas Jefferson University (Philadelphia, PA, US)
  • David Taylor, Vice President, Research at ALS Society of Canada (Toronto, Ontario, Canada).

Our impact

Since 2009 we invest in scientific research on ALS:


The peer-review evaluation process of project proposals

Researchers from Italian non-profit Universities and Research Institutes, either public or private send their project proposals.

The triage project information of each proposal is and independently evaluated by 3 international reviewers.

The Full proposals with the best Triage score are remotely and independently evaluated by 3 international reviewers.

The group of reviewers involved in Phase 2 participates in a plenary discussion to select the projects to be funded.

The Board of Directors accepts the reviewers’ suggestions and decides on the allocation of funds depending on availability of economic resources.

Type of funded grant


Research projects with highly innovative and original hypotheses, with not available or preliminary data to be consolidated.

46 projects and 49 researchers funded for a total value of 2.62 million euro.


1 year


max 60.000€


only Single-centre


Research projects with a solid background and consistent preliminary data.

52 projects and 101 researchers funded for a total value of 12.36 million euro.


From 1 to 3 years


max 240.000 €


Single-centre or Multi-centre

International Scientific Committee

For the selection of research proposals, we rely on the support of internationally recognized experts on ALS and motor neuron diseases, which represent AriSLA International Scientific Committee (ISC). The reviewers select the projects evaluating their quality, originality, innovation and feasibility.

Project selection

Since 2009, 131 researchers from Europe, United States, Canada and other countries have collaborated with the Foundation in the evaluation process of the research proposals. To minimize the risk of conflicts of interest, all these experts do not work in Italy.

Members of the ISC are required to ensure no conflict of interest with any project proposal received and to maintain confidentiality regarding all information received.

Geographical distribution of members of the AriSLA International Scientific Committee (2009-2022)

List of members of the ISC 2022 of the AriSLA Foundation

  • Andjus Pavle R, University of Belgrade, Serbia
  • Bowser Robert, Barrow Neurological Institute Phoenix, AZ, USA
  • Clement Albrecht M, Joannes Gutemberg, University of Mainz, Germany
  • Da Cruz Sandrine, VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research, Leuven, Belgium
  • Donnelly Christopher J., University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, PA, USA
  • Dupuis Luc, INSERM, Université de Strasbourg, Fédération de Médecine Translationnelle (FMTS), France
  • Elliot David, Newcastle University Biosciences Institute, The International Centre for Life, New Castle, UK
  • Fraenkel Ernest, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • Fratta Pietro, University College London Hospitals (NHS Foundation Trust), London, UK
  • Glass Jonathan, Emory University Department of Neurology & Pathology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
  • Greensmith Linda, The Graham Watts Laboratories for Research into Motor Neuron Disorders, UCL, London, UK
  • Hedlund Eva, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Stockholm University, Sweden Kabashi Edor, ICM – Hôpital Pitié Salpêtrière, Paris, France
  • Kalb Robert G, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Abramson Research Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA
  • Kirby Janine, Department of Neuroscience, Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
  • Link Christopher, Department of Integrative Physiology, University of Colorado Boulder, CO, USA
  • Maragakis Nicholas, The Johns Hopkins Hospital Department of Neurology, Baltimore, MD, USA
  • Marchand-Pauvert Veronique, Laboratoire d’Imagerie Biomédicale (LIB), Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital (Paris, France) INSERM
  • Moreira João Nuno, CNC – Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
  • Ozdinler Pembe Hande, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA
  • Petrucelli Leonard, Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, FL, USA
  • Re Diane Berengere, Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Center for Motor Neuron Disease, Department of Neurology, Columbia
  • University, New York, NY, USA Rogelj Boris, Jožef Stefan Institute, and at Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Sendtner Michael, Institute of Clinical Neurobiology, University of Wuerzburg, Germany
  • Sibley Christopher R., University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
  • Suzuki Masatoshi, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA
  • Van Den Bosch Ludo, VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research, Leuven, Belgium
  • Vande Velde Christine, CHUM Research Centre, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada