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David J. Tomassoni ALS Research Grant Program


The Office of Higher Education administers the David J. Tomassoni ALS Research Grant Program, named after the late Minnesota Senator, provides funding for translational research that leads to the prevention, functional improvement, and curative efforts for people with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Tomassoni, who was born in Bemidji, Minnesota, was a professional hockey player turned lawmaker. He served in the Minnesota legislature, representing District 5B in the Iron Range, from 1993 until his passing in 2022. He was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in 2021 and passionately advocated for research into the rare disease. In his final term as a Senator, he successfully authored and passed the legislation that provided $25 million in one-time funding to support ALS research and caregiver resources.

Funding Sources

2022 Minnesota Session Laws, Chapter 42, Section 2 appropriates $20,000,000 in from the State’s General Fund to the Commissioner of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE) for the purpose of accelerating Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) research. The David J. Tomassoni ALS Research Grant will award $19,600,000 to research institutions in Minnesota on a competitive basis to support clinical and translational research related to ALS.

2023-2025 Grantees

  • University of Minnesota - Multimodal Longitudinal Imaging Of Brain And Cervical Cord As A Disease Biomarker Using Microstructure Statistics And Morphometry
  • Mayo Clinic - Predicting The Clinical Response To Mscs: Analysis Of Biomarkers From A Phase 2 Clinical Trial
  • Mayo Clinic - Humoral Immunoprofiling And Proteomic Analysis Of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • University of Minnesota - Identification Of Protective Factors For Spinal Motor Neurons Using An Ipscs Model
  • University of Minnesota - Biorepository To Support ALS Research In Minnesota


For questions, please contact the Minnesota Office of Higher Education at