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  • Writer's pictureALS Double Play

Who is Dr. McGoldrick?

We caught up with Dr. Philip McGoldrick, ALS Double Play's Fellow for the Christopher Chiu Fellowship for ALS Research at the University of Toronto. Over the next three years, ALS Double Play will fund the ALS research that Dr. McGoldrick will be working on. From his favourite place in the world, to the best meal he's ever had, to where he feels ALS research is going, learn more below!

Name: Dr. Philip McGoldrick

Hometown: Stockport/Manchester, UK

Undergraduate School: University of Leeds

Graduate School: Institute of Neurology, University College London

1. Are you a sunrise, daylight, twilight or night person? Why?

Definitely a night person. I find that I get more energetic as the day goes on.

2. Tell us about your favorite place in the world?

My favorite place is the lab. It’s an intellectually stimulating and exciting place to be.

3. What’s the last book you read?

I‘m into fantasy books and recently finished the “Malazan Book of the Fallen” series.

4. What are you currently watching on Netflix?

I’ve been watching “The OA” but also really enjoyed the Allen Iverson documentary.

5. What’s the best meal you ever had?

A mixed kebab from the restaurant on my parents’ road!

6. What is your favorite family tradition?

Each year my brother and I set up our own version of the Champions League in FIFA on the Xbox.

7. How did you end up at the University of Toronto?

After finishing my PhD I wanted to broaden my horizons and skill sets so I chose Professor Robertson’s lab due to the excellent environment where I could develop my skills and learn from the best researchers in the field.

8. What’s special/unique about the research lab you’re in? And about research at the University of Toronto?

Professor Robertson’s lab is great: the wealth of knowledge and expertise, the people and the opportunity to work on a disease with other scientists who are as passionate and interested as I am. The lab works very closely with the ALS Clinic at Sunnybrook hospital so we’re able to be at the intersection of laboratory science and the clinical aspect, which gives us a unique ability to study the disease from different perspectives. The University of Toronto is one of the top universities in the world and a place with so many great researchers, facilities and ideas – it’s brilliant.

9. What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?

I’m interested in what’s causing motor neurons (the cells that are affected in ALS) to stop working. For the most commonly known cause of ALS there’s 3 main theories of what’s going wrong and the coolest thing is to work out if they’re occurring separately or working together.

10. Where do you see ALS research going in 10 years?

There is so much more known now about the causes of ALS compared to 5 or even 10 years ago. In the next 10 years we’re going to learn so much more and hopefully be able to develop treatments to help those affected by ALS.

11. What does the Christopher Chiu Fellowship mean to you?

Professionally, the fellowship gives me support and the chance to develop myself as an independent ALS researcher to have my own lab one day. More importantly, personally it’s an incredible privilege and I’m going to work hard to honor Christopher’s memory.

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