A boost for MS Research
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has recently announced the successful Australian research projects and fellowships that have been awarded funding for 2018 onwards.
Over the past few years the government funding environment has become intensely difficult, leaving many strong research teams and projects at risk. It is particularly exciting to see several up-and-coming young MS researchers and several extremely promising projects funded.
Even more encouraging is the fact that six of the seven laboratories funded by the NHMRC in this round have previously been funded by MS Research Australia, several in partnership with the Trish Multiple Sclerosis Research Foundation. This demonstrates the incredible leverage MS Research Australia and Trish Foundation funding can achieve to get innovative research off the ground and develop strong teams and strong avenues of investigation.
The new MS projects are outstanding additions to the breadth of research underway in Australia, covering the development of new therapeutics, tools for diagnosis and exploring ways to promote the growth and repair of myelin.
Associate Professor Fabienne Brilot-Turville, from the Westmead Institute for Medical Research, University of Sydney, has been awarded a three-year project grant to explore the autoimmune process where a person’s immune system attacks their own brain and optic nerves. This project, which continues the incredible research avenue she has developed with the support of MS Research Australia, aims to identify and study the earliest autoimmune responses against the central nervous system in children and adults. This research is essential for accurate early diagnosis and treatment. Associate Professor Brilot-Turville’s research in Australia was kick-started with an Incubator Grant funded by the Trish Foundation.
Two more researchers currently supported by MS Research Australia and the Trish Foundation are Dr Kaylene Young from the Menzies Institute for Medical Research, and Dr Tobias Merson from the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute. Both have been awarded three-year project grants to investigate methods to restore the myelin coating of nerve cells in MS. They are investigating different ways of harnessing the electrical activity of nerves to stimulate myelin repair.
The Trish Foundation joins MS Research Australia in congratulating the researchers for their success in obtaining this exceedingly competitive and prestigious government funding. We would also like to acknowledge the outstanding work of all the deserving scientists who submitted high quality research projects but, due to the shortage of research funds, missed out on funding.
Article adapted from MS Research Australia