In a recently published article for The Hollywood Reporter, Acurastem co-founder Dr. Justin Ichida shares a personal account of how famed publicist and ALS patient Nanci Ryder, and her friends in the fight, have helped to accelerate groundbreaking in vitro research being done at his USC-based laboratory (results of which were published in a recent Nature Medicine article).

The aptly named “Team Nanci” is made up of Nanci’s closest friends and supporters, including actors Renee Zellweger, Courteney Cox, and Don Diamont. Together, the close-knit group have been invaluable for Dr. Ichida’s promising stem cell research, raising crucial funding and spreading awareness for the newest frontiers of ALS research.

Dr. Ichida is quick to note that though there is immense potential in the work being done by AcuraStem and Ichida lab, the drug-approval process is historically slow. Still, he hopes to do better than the average of 10-15 years by showing a good effect in Phase II clinical trials. Read Dr. Ichida's Hollywood Reporter story here.