Attila Szvetko, Postgraduate
Research Scholar funded by
the Trish Foundation - 2005-2007
There are many bright young researchers making a significant contribution to MS research in Australia, Attila Szvetko being no exception.
Having graduated from Griffith University Queensland, Bachelor of Health Science with 1st Class Honours, Attila was the recipient of a Postgraduate Research Scholarship in the Trish Foundation’s second round of funding.
Attila is grateful to the Trish Foundation saying, “The funding provided by the Trish Foundation has made a substantial long-term impact on my career and the MS research here at Griffith.”
Attila is now completing his PhD. He works very long hours toiling tirelessly and said his routine is anything but routine.
“Research here involves working with many people on many levels, balancing competing interests, staying ahead of the literature and technology, and focussing on research outcomes that are constructively aligned with the overall trends in MS research.”
As is the case with most people, Attila has been personally touched by multiple sclerosis.
“A distant relative has recently been diagnosed with MS. It never ceases to amaze me how prevalent this disease is. Many people have asked over the years what I am working on and have then gone on to tell me about someone they know with MS.”
Attila is investigating genetic variations and expression in a select set of genes in an attempt to identify disease-specific changes in people with MS.
“Studying the brain tissue from people with and without MS, I have identified four genes to date that may play important roles in the disease,” Attila said. “Finding the genes involved could explain MS susceptibility and potentially provide new strategies for treatment.”
Attila’s research is supervised by Professor Lyn Griffiths, Professor in Molecular Genetics, Director Griffith Institute Health & Medical Research, Griffith University.
“We are very thankful to the Trish MS Research Foundation for supporting our MS research and in particular for supporting Attila’s research studies. Attila is a committed and enterprising postgraduate student who has produced some promising MS gene variation results. The Trish MS Research Foundation has enabled him to undertake these studies but has also helped enormously in the development of his medical research career,” said Professor Griffiths.
“Many studies have focussed on plaque pathology in the past; my project has focussed on genetic changes in the normal appearing white and grey matter of the MS brain, which may pre-empt the pathological changes that cause this devastating disease,” Attila said.
“The genes we have investigated include those involved in immune response, viral recognition, and neural regeneration. Recently, we have submitted gene expression findings detailing changes in two genes in the normal appearing white matter of MS brains to a scientific journal. My focus now is to concisely summarise the work we have done over the past four years and submit my doctoral thesis at the end of the year. We remain focussed on publishing our findings and I plan on submitting another three papers to scientific journals over the next three months.”
Attila is a fine example of a diligent and hard-working young researcher making a great contribution to MS research in Australia and giving hope to people with this disease.
For information regarding Attila adding a new finding to MS research, please click here.