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Jun 2014
Predicting MS in children
Oct 2014
Three new Incubator Grants announced
Dec 2014
2015 Funding announced
Mar 2015
Investigating new treatment options
Oct 2015
Progress in MS Research Conference
Feb 2016
2016 Round of Funding
Feb 2014
New projects being funded
Feb 2014
Breakthrough study shows great promise

Work underway for two recent incubator

The Trish MS Research Foundation, in partnership with MS Research Australia, funded two short term incubator grants late in 2014. Incubator grants are awarded for new ideas in MS research to gather early pilot data which will then underpin further grant applications in the future.

Dr Ben Crossett from the University of Sydney received $22,000 to investigate neuromyelitis optica (NMO). Working with Associate Professor Michael Barnett, he is examining protein fragments which are displayed on the surface of cells in the body. These fragments form part of the immune response that goes awry in people with MS and NMO.

The majority of people with NMO have antibodies to a specific protein called aquaporin 4, but some do not. Of these people, it remains unclear whether they have a different subtype of NMO or a different disease and characterising the proteins in these people will help answer this question. Dr Crossett is establishing a sample collection of people with NMO and MS and optimising the techniques for this project which will employ brand new mass spectrometry equipment and novel data analysis to search for differences.

Dr Charles Galea from the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, received $25,000 for his project investigating the potential of cone snail venom to be used as a therapy for MS. The venom of cone snails contain a number of substances which are known to block potassium channels in immune cells.

Work undertaken previously by Dr Galea showed that drugs which block potassium channels reduced an MS-like illness in animal models. Dr Galea has performed an initial screen of the venom for protein fragments which are likely to bind to potassium channels and is now running experiments to test their binding ability. It is hoped that some of these compounds will be the basis of future research to develop new therapeutic drugs for MS.

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