2014 Game

<h4 style=”font-weight: bold; color: #003c76; text-align: center;”><a href=”http://thesnowfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/temp20140608_CoachSftblGm063-nfl_mezz_1280_1024.jpg”><img class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-4336″ src=”http://thesnowfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/temp20140608_CoachSftblGm063-nfl_mezz_1280_1024.jpg” alt=”temp20140608_CoachSftblGm063–nfl_mezz_1280_1024″ width=”960″ height=”678″ /></a></h4>
While in the midst of competing for roster spots and preparing for the 2014 NFL season during organized team activities, the Rams took a day for a different type of competition. In a charity event that doubles as a camaraderie-building experience during the NFL offseason, 22 Rams players took part in Head Coach Jeff Fisher’s annual softball game on Sunday.

Played at GCS Ballpark in Sauget, Ill., for the third straight year, the game featured all the hijinks typical of Fisher’s yearly event, complete with a 3-0 lead before the game’s first pitch, cheerleaders as base runners, mascots as pitchers and the opposing team beginning an inning with two outs. Pitted against a team assembled by offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, Fisher found his team in an unfamiliar spot, trailing often before rallying late. The game ended in a 22-22 tie after eight innings, continuing Fisher’s string of games without a loss.

“We had to get ourselves back in it,” Fisher said. “I had to give Coach Schottenheimer some applause, they did a nice job, so we walked off tied.”

Fisher continued his tradition of bringing celebrity guests with area ties for a third straight year. Among the guests this year was Grammy Award winning hip-hop artist and St. Louis native Murphy Lee, who also participated in the event’s home run derby, won by Rams LB <a class=”player-card-tooltip” style=”font-weight: bold; color: #00295b;” title=”James Laurinaitis” href=”http://www.stlouisrams.com/team/roster/james-laurinaitis/72120770-25b2-4fb2-9b56-10ca0d8067b9/” rel=”/cda-web/person-card-module.htm?mode=data&amp;id=72120770-25b2-4fb2-9b56-10ca0d8067b9″ rev=”player”>James Laurinaitis<img src=”http://www.stlouisrams.com/assets/nflimg/icon-article-link.gif” alt=”” /></a>.

The “Coach Fisher and Friends” softball game has been a tradition for Fisher that dates back to his days as the head coach of the Tennessee Titans, and the event has supported a litany of charities since its inception. This year’s event included a player from those Tennessee days, in new Rams receiver <a class=”player-card-tooltip” style=”font-weight: bold; color: #00295b;” title=”Kenny Britt” href=”http://www.stlouisrams.com/team/roster/kenny-britt/ded52e21-7894-4369-ba1a-95c64129282d/” rel=”/cda-web/person-card-module.htm?mode=data&amp;id=ded52e21-7894-4369-ba1a-95c64129282d” rev=”player”>Kenny Britt<img src=”http://www.stlouisrams.com/assets/nflimg/icon-article-link.gif” alt=”” /></a>, who delivered a two-run home run in the game.

The game featured more than 4,000 fans in attendance, and benefited five charities: The Wounded Warrior Project, The Backstoppers, Mercy Ministries, The Catch-A-Dream Foundation and The Jack and J.T. Snow Scientific Research Foundation. The Snow foundation, founded in part in memoriam of former Rams receiver and broadcaster Jack Snow, teams with Washington University’s medical research team to raise awareness for Wolfram syndrome, a rare form of diabetes.

While the game is certainly a benefit to the charities involved, they weren’t the only ones to gain from the event as a whole. The Rams raffled off the players’ game worn jerseys to fans in attendance and also held a silent auction featuring NFL memorabilia. Fans were also treated to a post-game fireworks show.

“It’s a big thing for the charities, but it’s also a fun evening—it’s a blast,” Fisher said. “People tell friends, and they tell friends, and they just keep coming out.”
<h4 style=”color: #003c76; text-align: center;”>Check out the 2013 St. Louis Rams video about the event <a style=”color: #003c76;” href=”http://www.stlouisrams.com/media-center/videos/Coach-Fisher–Friends-Celebrity-Softball-Game/b0ec045f-84fc-46f2-8bc3-f1b2efcfe7b8″ target=”_self”>HERE</a></h4>
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Research Update – Patient Based Therapeutics Part 1

Patient Based Therapeutics – Part 1

Photo of Dr. Fumihiko Urano

Dr. Fumihiko Urano

We are taking an unconventional approach to develop therapeutics for Wolfram syndrome. I would call it “patient-based therapeutics.” Our extensive molecular characterization of patient cells, especially iPSC-derived cells, has been providing us remarkable insights into the root cause of Wolfram syndrome. Based on these insights, I have been carefully choosing molecular targets and processes for developing therapeutics. These are the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane integrity, ER calcium leakage, calpain-2, and WFS1 gene mutations.How we target WFS1 gene mutations? We have started testing genome editing to accomplish this. Genome editing is a process that involves cutting out pathogenic genetic material (i.e., mutations in the WFS1 gene) and replacing it with healthy genetic material. This is a molecular surgery. So I am becoming a molecular surgeon. In short, we are trying to repair a genetic defect in Wolfram syndrome.

Currently, we are repairing a genetic defect in iPS cells from patients with Wolfram syndrome to see if the molecular surgery can restore the normal function of neural progenitor cells derived from Wolfram iPS cells. This is an important step. When the transplantation of iPSC-derived retinal ganglion cells and beta cells are available in the clinic in the future, we need to repair the genetic defect before the transplantation.

Dr. Fumihiko Urano a renowned physician and scientist developing therapeutics and diagnostics for Wolfram syndrome and juvenile onset diabetes.  His areas of expertise include Wolfram syndrome, type 1 diabetes, Pediatric pathology and genetics and Molecular Endocrinology.  He is currently employed at the Washington University School of Medicine where he holds the Samuel E. Schechter Professor of Medicine, 2012 – present.