This collaborative research was funded by the ALS CURE Project and led by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Gladstone Institute
Empowering the brightest doctors with the computational horsepower of supercomputers.
We share one common goal: a cure for ALS
Mike Piscotty is a graduate from the University of New Mexico, Business school and the holds MBA from California State University, Hayward. A proven manager and leader, has led large scale software development projects for the past 30 years at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Highly successful youth baseball coach leading teams to multiple national championships. Has participated on numerous youth sports in various board roles. Served on the Lynnewood United Methodist Church Board for 3 years. Wife Gretchen Piscotty, passed away from ALS in May 2018.
Stephen Piscotty is a professional baseball player currently playing for the Oakland Athletics. Graduate from Stanford University with a BS degree in Atmosphere and Energy Engineering. Winner of the Tony Conigliaro Award in 2019. Winner of the Fred Hutch Award in 2019. Winner of the 2019 Humanitarian Award from the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame. Active advocate for ALS awareness and cure research.
Director of Corporate Sponsorships
Phil Green is a graduate of the University of Washington where he was on the 1991 National Championship UW Football team. He has spent the past 25 years building a career in developing technology solutions for brands such as Sony, Hewlett Packard, and Home Depot. A loving husband to his wife Jennifer, Phil is also a dedicated father to four children (Arianne-18, Hunter-17, Parker-13, and Whitney-10). Phil was diagnosed with ALS in August of 2018 and immediately dedicated himself to making a difference in the fight against this horrific disease. Phil is active in helping multiple ALS organizations with promoting ALS legislation and policy issues, increasing awareness and raising funds to find effective treatments and cures, and providing much needed support services for ALS patients and families.
Director of Operations
James Gilbreth is President of Kota Networks Inc, an outsourced Information Technology solution for small to medium sized businesses. Member of the St Andrew’s Society of Oakland. Former 1st VP of the Pleasanton Girls Softball League. United States Army Special Forces (Ret).
Barron Wesenberg has a B.S. in Engineering from California State University Chico and an MBA from California State University Hayward. He has held engineering leadership roles in Fortune 500 companies and as an early member of a startup guided the company to $1.5 billion IPO. He is the current owner and co-founder of Kota Networks Inc and has had held various position on youth sports boards.
Toni Eslick has a B.A. Degree in Communications from California State University, Hayward. She is currently a Human Resources Director for Covia, a non-profit organization that provides services and housing to seniors. Toni has been employed by Covia for over thirty-five years and has experience working in Human Resources, Benefit Administration, Payroll, Accounting, Medicare/Insurance billing and Administration. Toni served on the Pleasanton American Little League Board of Directors in 2002 as the League Secretary, in 2003 as the League Treasurer and from 2004 until 2009 as the League President. She has also done volunteer work for Covia, the Pleasanton Unified School District, Open Heart Kitchen and the ALS Cure Project.
Director IT and Communications
Andrew Woodward is a graduate from Kingston University, England and holds an MBA in Information Technology Management from the University of Phoenix. A successful technology leader working for small to medium sized technology & Healthcare companies for over 30 years, the last 26 in the bay area. Formerly a youth soccer coach for over 10 years for local Boys Soccer Organization (B.U.S.C) and 4 years as President of the Pleasanton Adult Co-Ed Soccer league.
Director of Strategic Partnerships
Jim is a graduate of Georgia Tech with a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering. He played Major League Baseball from 1990 - 2000, and pitched for the Cleveland Indians in the 1995 World Series. Jim has served as a representative for the MLBPA on the Major League Baseball Players Benefit Plan Pension Committee since 1993. He also is the Chairman of Major League Alumni Marketing, a for-profit company under the umbrella of the MLBPAA. For a day job, Jim is a Personal Wealth Advisor at BIP Wealth. His practice serves current and former professional baseball players and their families.
Jim has been happily married to his wife Kim since 1989 and is the proud father to Austin, Hayden, and Courtney as well as his daughter-in-laws Marileigh and Caroline. He also became a first-time grandfather with the birth of Montgomery in 2020!
Jim was diagnosed with ALS in June of 2021. As he has come to understand more about the needs of the ALS community, he has become active in various efforts to raise awareness and funds to help families find support and researchers discover elusive solutions to the disease.
Our highly distinguished doctors and researchers
Jonathan Katz, M.D.
Dr. Katz studies amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), myasthenia gravis, neuromuscular diseases, pain management, peripheral neuropathy, poliomyelitis, radiculopathies, and spinal muscular atrophy. He leads clinical trials of pharmacotherapies to slow the progression of ALS; device trials; a study of the NeuRX Diaphragm Pacing System to support patients with diaphragm weakness; and observational studies of factors affecting disease progression. Dr. Katz and others at the Forbes Norris Center work with researchers at the University of California, San Diego, to study mutations in RNA binding proteins that cause neuronal dysfunction and death. In 2014, Dr. Katz and colleagues at CPMC will collaborate with Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute on new stem cell and gene therapy techniques to treat ALS patients. He is President of the ALS Research Group—an international ALS research collaboration. He sits on the medical advisory board for GBS-CIDP Foundation.
Robert Bowser, PhD
Dr. Robert Bowser is an internationally recognized leader in ALS research. He has contributed to pioneering efforts to discover and validate biomarkers for ALS. These biomarkers can be useful as diagnostic indicators of disease, predictors of disease progression, and in determining the effectiveness of drugs in clinical trials. Dr. Bowser has extensive experience in the translation of basic science discoveries to the clinic to impact patient care. As director of the ALS Research Center, Dr. Bowser directs research to determine the underlying mechanisms of ALS, identify new targets for drug treatment, develop improved therapies for ALS, and lead clinical research studies performed in numerous medical centers throughout North America.
Joseph (Jody) Puglisi, PhD
Dr. Puglisi’s group investigates the role of RNA in cellular processes and disease. Their goal is to understand RNA function in terms of molecular structure and dynamics using a variety of biophysical and biological tools. They use nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to determine structures of biological molecules, and integrate structural understanding into further mechanistic and functional studies. They investigate dynamics using single-molecule approaches. Their goal is a unified picture of structure, dynamics and function. They are currently focused on the mechanism and regulation of translation, and the role of RNA in viral infections. A long-term goal is to target processes involving RNA with novel therapeutic strategies.
John Ravits, MD
John Ravits, MD, is a board-certified clinical neurologist specializing in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), motor neuron diseases, neuromuscular disorders, and clinical neurophysiology. Dr. Ravits is the director of the ALS clinic at UC San Diego Health and vice chair of adult neurology and the neurological sciences. Dr. Ravits is on the editorial board of the medical journal Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis & Frontotemporal Degeneration. He serves on the scientific advisory committee of the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation, and also serves on the steering committee for the World Federation of Neurology Research Group on Motor Neuron Diseases. As a professor of clinical neuroscience, Dr. Ravits is involved in the training of medical students, residents, and fellows in neurology. His research interests focus on clinical phenotypes, genetic mechanisms especially related to the C9orf72 gene, genomics, antisense oligonucleotide therapies, and molecular neuropathology.
Have any questions? Don't hesitate to reach out.
(Direct to Mike Piscotty via 925-321-5487)