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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

Dr Linda Ly

The Power of Proteomics in MS Research   

For many people, deciding which career path to embark upon once high school finishes can be confusing and daunting. But not so for Dr Linda Ly, a Postdoctoral Research Associate of Medicine, Central Clinical School at the University of Sydney. It was clear that science, specifically proteomics, was destined to be her professional passion when the final school bell rang.       

“Finishing high school and choosing what courses to enrol in at university made me realise I wasn’t really interested in anything else except science. I undertook a Bachelor of Science degree in Biotechnology at the University of New South Wales and it was during my Honours year, the final year of my undergraduate degree that my interest grew in the budding field of proteomics; a discipline that involves the systematic study of all proteins within biological systems such as cells, tissues and fluids. Realising the potential of proteomic tools and techniques to answer biological questions, I then pursued a PhD following my undergraduate studies at the same university learning more about proteomics and how to identify and quantify the many hundreds of proteins present in biological samples.” 

Dr Ly works with Dr Michael Barnett and Dr Ben Crossett at the University of Sydney, along with research assistant Ms Twishi Gulati. The Trish Foundation is proud to be funding Dr Ly’s Post Doctoral Fellowship which aims to better understand the repair mechanisms in multiple sclerosis (MS).  

“In MS, symptoms correlate with focal areas of inflammation and demyelination - a process where myelin, the fatty tissue that normally wraps around the axons, is destroyed - in the brain and spinal cord. Remyelination is a process where the damaged fatty myelin sheaths surrounding the nerves are repaired, which plays a critical role in remission of the neurological symptoms that characterise MS. However, there is a progressive failure of this repair process as the length of time a person has had MS increases, which contributes to irreversible disability.  

Dr Ly explains further: “This project aims to use proteomic techniques to discover and characterise the proteins that are important in the repair of the central nervous system and its failure. The identification of these proteins may lead to more effective treatments to promote the processes of repair in MS.”  

As a post-doctoral researcher within the MS research team at the University of Sydney, Dr Ly has presented at MS conferences in Australia and internationally. She has also had post-doctoral work, detailing a comprehensive proteomic methodology in processing MS tissue, published in peer-reviewed publication, Journal of Proteome Research.  

With a busy work schedule that includes planning and performing experiments including data analysis, drafting manuscripts for publications, reading journal articles to inform her work, and supervising students in their projects, it’s hard to imagine Dr Ly has any ‘spare time’ to enjoy her passions beyond science.  

Amazingly, she manages to squeeze in French studies at TAFE (“definitely a challenge but enjoyable!”) and hopes to put her language skills to the test one day by travelling around France. She also enjoys shopping, going to the movies and spending time with her family which “usually involves a lot of eating!”.             

Dr Ly believes the holy grail of MS research is to find what causes the disease and understand the entire disease process. She says it’s the challenge of such a complex disease, with many things not yet discovered about it that keeps her so passionate her work in MS.

“We are still searching to discover what causes MS and why some people are susceptible. It’s the drive to find the missing pieces of the puzzle, no matter how small, that could give us a better understanding of the biological or disease processes of MS. It’s this thirst for knowledge that could lead to better treatments, prevention and a cure.”

Trish Foundation & MS Research Australia Working together to find a cure for MS
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