Barber ALS Research Awards

Jim Barber was a Vietnam War veteran and a graduate of University of California, Santa Barbara, and the UC Hastings College of Law. He was a successful attorney for more than 30 years, before he was diagnosed with ALS in 2006.

During his nearly decade-long battle with this disease, Jim became an instrumental voice in the ALS community. He helped create the California ALS Advocacy Committee, whose work resulted in the passage of two bills - The ALS Standard of Care Bill, which stated the highest standard of care for people with ALS in the California Health Code, and the California Tax Check-off Bill, which to date has raised more than $600,000 for ALS research. In addition, along with other advocates, Jim helped with securing a pivotal $18 million grant for ALS research from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). The ALS Association and the Golden West Chapter recognized Jim for his work by honoring him with the Iron Horse Award in 2010 and the Heroes Living with ALS Award in 2011 and again in 2016.

A major outcome of Jim's work was the formation of the California ALS Research Network in 2010 and the creation of their annual California ALS Research Summit in 2011.

About the Barber ALS Research Award

Jim Barber held a deep passion and commitment to the mission of the Golden West Chapter. It was his desire that the annual ALS Research Summit would encourage collaboration and sharing of ideas as well as give special recognition to those participating researchers. Beginning with the 2017 Summit and continuing annually, the Barber family and Chapter will present three (3) cash awards of $1,000 to each of the top poster presenters, along with a special memento recognizing their accomplishment. For more information or questions about poster abstracts, please contact

Barber Award

Barber ALS Research Award Winners

  • 2023 - Monica Feole, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; Michael Edison Ramos, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Carolina Kondorfer Rangel, UCSD
  • 2022 - Mariana Bravo-Hernandez, UCSD; Shu-Ting (Michelle) Hung, USC; and Wonhee Lee, Cedars-Sinai.
  • 2021 - Sandra Diaz Garcia, PhD, UC San Diego; Deepti Lall, PhD, Cedars-Sinai; Shan Lu, PhD, UC San Diego
  • 2020 - Michael W. Baughn, UCSD; Maya Maor Nof, PhD, Stanford, and Veronica Garcia, PhD, Cedars Sinai
  • 2019 - Jone Lopez-Erauskin, PhD, Ludwig Institute UCSD; Gabriel Linares, PhD, University of Southern California, and Suganya Selvarajah, PhD, Prosetta Biosciences
  • 2018 - Bankole Aladesuyi from the Ravits Lab at UCSD; Lindsay Becker from Gitler Lab at Stanford, and Ankur Jain from the Vale Lab at UCSF
  • 2017 - Dara Ditsworth, UCSD; Pooja Hor, USC; Gretchen Thomson, Cedars-Sinai
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