Australian research to uncover genes that could repair the damage inflicted by multiple sclerosis (MS) will soon be underway as new projects receive $4.5 million in funding.   

Ranging from one-year innovative studies to major five-year senior fellowships, the newly funded projects focus on key MS research priorities, including genomics, treatments for better sleep, research into the impact of diet and lifestyle changes, and studies harnessing new technologies such as artificial intelligence to aid in identifying MS progression. 

Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Associate Professor Justin Rubios is spearheading an innovative project to identify genes involved in how MS progresses and whether this information can be used to slow damage that occurs in the brain of people living with MS. “Once identified, these genes can pave the way for novel drug discovery programs,” he said. 

MS Australia CEO Rohan Greenland said this significant investment in MS research demonstrates the organisation’s ambitious approach to combating the disease.  “These research projects ensure we’re not merely seeking answers, we’re actively pursuing them,” he said. “Our goal is to explore new and exciting areas within the field of MS to uncover new approaches to managing and ultimately defeating MS as soon as possible.” 

MS is the most commonly acquired chronic neurological disease affecting young adults who are often diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40.  

MS Australia president Associate Professor Des Graham said with MS on the rise, both here and globally, MS Australia is intensifying its commitment to halt its progress.