With over 17 years of clinical practice, award-winning research, and therapeutic innovation, Nicholas Boulis, MD brings leading-edge science-based direction to Above and Beyond’s mission. As Director of Emory University’s Gene and Cell Therapy for Neurorestoration Laboratory, and as Associate professor in Emory’s Department of Neurosurgery, he has significant expertise in translational medicine, bridging the gap from proof-of-principle laboratory research to clinical trials and patient treatment. With his distinguished expertise in the field of gene transfer to the nervous system, Dr. Boulis’ lab pursues novel and advanced treatments for ALS, as well as Parkinson’s disease, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and refractory pain conditions.
Dr. Boulis recent focus has been on translating biotechnology advancements to ALS through the invention of new instrumentation, methods, and combined interventions addressing biological neurorestoration and neuromodulation through the use of cell, protein and gene delivery to the nervous system Therapeutic innovations pioneered by Dr. Boulis include human trials of direct stem cell transplantation into the spinal cord to achieve motor neuron protection and, ultimately with additional advancements, repair in ALS patients. A second program has concentrated on motor neuron-specific gene delivery to achieve neuroprotection to preserve muscle function and lay the groundwork for restoration. Dr. Boulis has also applied frontline animal models and cell culture techniques using engineered viruses to transfer therapeutic genes for neural growth factors and anti-apoptotic proteins into diseased tissue.
A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Boulis has held faculty appointments at The Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University and at the University of Michigan School of Medicine. Since 2012 he has also been on faculty at Georgia Tech’s Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience Center for Regenerative Engineering and Medicine. A 2010 recipient of the Philip J Bowen Award for contributions to ALS Research, Dr. Boulis also serves on the Michael J Fox Foundation Advisory Committee on Deep Brain Stimulation Research. As author of over 100 peer-reviewed publications and 4 patents, including a path-breaking approach to spinal cord-delivered therapeutics, Dr. Boulis’ research and clinical accomplishments are in the vanguard of therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases.