Professor Trevor Kilpatrick, from The University of Melbourne and the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, has been awarded a prestigious research grant from the American National MS Society (NMSS). The grant was announced as part of the 2015 NMSS funding round which awarded US$28 million across 84 new research projects and training awards.
Professor Kilpatrick’s project will look at the role of a specific gene called MERTK in developing MS. Working with a group of international collaborators, Professor Kilpatrick will look at whether abnormal MERTK has an effect on immune cells and their response to inflammation. The team will determine whether the activity of different versions of this gene can have an effect. They will also examine MERTK in brain tissue from people with MS to see whether it is related to the course of MS over a person’s lifetime. Importantly, this study will provide a model for future studies of the effects of single genes in MS.
Professor Kilpatrick received a project grant over one year to start this work in 2014 from MS Research Australia, with support from the Trish MS Research Foundation. To read more about the MS Research Australia project please see here.
Dr Matthew Miles, Chief Executive Officer of MS Research Australia said ‘MS Research Australia is pleased to hear of the continued funding of this important project. I would like to congratulate Professor Kilpatrick on his significant award and look forward to hearing his exciting results’.
Professor Kilpatrick also received an incubator grant in the most recent MS Research Australia funding round to look at a receptor involved in myelination. Read more here.
The full list of projects funded by NMSS in the 2015 round can be seen here.
Professor Kilpatrick is the joint leader of Stem Cells Australia’s Neural Regeneration and Repair theme.
This story was first published by MS Research Australia.