Kim Staats looks for the pattern in sporadic cases of ALS

Kim Staats (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

USC postdoctoral researcher Kim Staats, PhD, found her calling when a childhood neighbor was diagnosed with ALS, a paralyzing and fatal neurodegenerative disease. At the time, Staats was pursuing bachelor’s and master’s degrees in kinesiology at Free University Amsterdam (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), with plans to either practice or teach physical therapy after graduation.

As a kinesiology student, Staats asked herself: What if people with ALS do a lot more exercise? Would that give them a muscular buffer against this paralysis?

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