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Feb 2017
Trish Foundation contributes to first-ever discovery
Jun 2017
Researchers funded by the Trish Foundation making great progress
Dec 2017
Announcement by NHMRC
Jan 2018
2018 Round of Funding Four new Projects announced
Jun 2018
Exciting regrowth of nerve fibres
Jun 2018
Dr Merson secures $1 million from NHMRC
Jun 2018
Findings submitted for publication
Jan 2019
New Research Projects commencing 2019 announced

2012 Progress Report Jason Mackenzie

Jason Mackenzie searches for clues in MS brains   

Jason Mackenzie was awarded a PhD scholarship funded by the Trish MS Research Foundation and Annabel Chaplin through MS Research Australia. Mr Mackenzie is supervised by Professor Lyn Griffiths at the Genomics Research Centre at Griffith University. Mr Mackenzie’s research is investigating gene activity in people with MS to determine how it differs from people without MS. Identifying genes specifically involved with the development of MS will shed new light on the mechanisms of disease.  

Mr Mackenzie has been using array technology, which allows him to examine the activity of all genes at once. He has identified five genetic regions that showed different levels of activity in the blood of people with MS when compared with blood from unaffected individuals. Mr Mackenzie has completed follow-up work of these regions looking at specific genes involved with vitamin D and sex hormones and these results are now ready for publication. Mr Mackenzie said this work has ‘yielded very interesting results that may have implications for some people with MS’.  

In the next phase of this project Mr Mackenzie then used similar techniques to examine the brain tissue of people with MS in comparison to unaffected. This work will determine whether gene activity is altered at the site of the disease, within the lesions of an MS affected brain. He has identified individual genes that showed changes in MS and also collections of genes (gene pathways) involved in particular processes. The functional connections between genes are very important and Mr Mackenzie therefore expects his gene pathway study to identify new candidate genes for further investigation. Tissue studies such as Mr Mackenzie’s are incredibly important to find new molecules that provide new target for the design of MS therapies.

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