Wade has dedicated the past 10 years to research focused on developing new treatments for neurological diseases, including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a disease Fraternity members know well. The motivation behind Wade’s interest in advancing 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 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 hit 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 3 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 a scientist at Abbvie Inc., developing new technologies for potential Alzheimer’s Disease therapeutics. Although Wade’s research focus has shifted, many believe that advancement in one disease area may lead to significant breakthroughs for other neurological conditions, as these disorders share similar mechanisms of pathology in the brain.
As of October 2020 Brother Self is a postdoctoral scholar at University of Chicago working in the laboratory of Dr. Sam Sisodia, investigating the role of the gut microbiome in Alzheimer’s Disease pathology.
As Wade walks into the laboratory each day, he thinks about Lou Gehrig, his grandfather, and all of the other incredible individuals who courageously endured suffering at the hands of these diseases. He fights for them every day, and will continue to do so throughout his scientific career.
View a recent TEDx talk by Brother Self detailing what we know about Alzheimer’s Disease along with why drugs that have failed clinical trials might still work. Dr. Self also describes the significant advancements made in diagnostics and in measuring the state of the disease. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.