MS Society of Canada MS Society of Canada
Research in Action - June 2020
Research in Action Newsletter
June 2020
Latest research news and updates from the MS Society of Canada

Dr. Karen Lee

It is with mixed emotions that the MS Society of Canada said good-bye to Dr. Karen Lee, Vice-President, Research as she embarks on the her next executive role as the President and CEO at Parkinson’s Canada. Dr. Lee has done tremendous work at the MS Society over the last 12 years.

Karen first began her work with the MS Society in 2008 when she joined in the capacity of Assistant Vice-President, Research. In 2011, she took on the role of Vice-President, Research & Managing Director, endMS Research and Training Network. Throughout her 12 years at the MS Society, Karen brought innovative thinking and incredible passion in her work for people affected by MS and her effort has contributed to Canada’s world-class MS research enterprise. Karen drove rich nationwide discussions within the MS community, connecting MS researchers to people affected by MS in a dialogue about MS research priorities in Canada.

We thank Karen for the exceptional work she has done in improving the lives of people affected by MS.
Research Events and Funding Opportunities


This year, the MS Society fundraising has gone virtual! Achieving a world free of multiple sclerosis takes more than one person, and there isn’t just one way to accomplish it. We Challenge MS is a nationwide movement turning people’s ordinary hobbies and passions into extraordinary actions. Whether you choose to create, stream, write, bake, game, craft, walk, share, cycle, run however you choose to challenge MS, know that, #WeChallengeMS together.

You can register or find additional information to share with others here.

Webinar: Hear from the Experts: COVID-19 and MS

With daily updates on COVID-19 research in the news it can be hard to keep up and understand what it all means for the MS community. On June 11, join a panel of experts who will break down COVID-19 research and what is being done to understand the impact of COVID-19 on people living with MS. We will discuss serosurveillance, the COViMS registry, hydroxychloroquine and more. Plus, your questions will be answered by the experts during a Q&A period.

Join us June 11, 2020. Click to register here!

COVID-19 & MS: A Global Data Sharing Initiative to Understand the Impact of COVID-19 on People Living with MS

A global effort is underway to understand the impact of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, on people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) and other CNS demyelinating diseases (Neuromyelitis Optica, or MOG antibody disease). Through a COVID-19 & MS global data sharing initiative, participating countries are capturing and sharing data to understand the effect of COVID-19 on people with MS and other demyelinating diseases. COViMS (COVID-19 Infections in MS & Related Diseases) is the North American effort to capture clinical information from health professionals on outcomes of people with MS who have developed COVID-19.

Additionally, people living with MS, whether they have experienced any symptoms of COVID-19 or not, can directly contribute to this global data collection effort by completing a survey on the platform most appropriate to them.

DOD Research Funding Opportunity

The Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP)'s MS Research Program (MSRP) supports innovative and impactful research that addresses fundamental issues and gaps in MS.

Three FY20 MSRP funding opportunities are now available:
View program announcement here.
Download a reference table of all opportunities here (.pdf)

Pre-application deadline: June 17, 2020

MS International Federation Awards Opportunity

The MS International Federation, a unique global network of MS organisations, is funding research awards in the form of two-year fellowships (McDonald) and 3-6 month (Du Pré) travel grants, which are aimed exclusively to clinicians and researchers who work in and are from low- and middle-income countries, as defined by the World Bank. Applicants must have at least post-graduate (minimum MSc, but preferably PhD/MD) experience in MS.

Deadline: June 30, 2020

For more details see or contact
Research Updates

2019 endMS Research Conference

The endMS Conference took place in Calgary, Alberta in December 2019. With over 300 attendees, this conference is the largest scientific meeting focused on multiple sclerosis (MS) in Canada. The conference highlighted research that is advancing treatment and care, enhancing well-being, understanding and halting disease progression, and preventing MS. To learn more about the conference, click here.

2020-2021 Annual Research Competition

The MS Society announced over $5 million in research funding in the 2020-2021 Annual Research Competition for new Discovery Research and Pilot Grants and Personnel awards and fellowships. For the full list, see here.

Health Canada approves siponimod for treatment in adults with active secondary progressive MS

Health Canada has approved Mayzent® (siponimod) for the treatment of adults with active secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) with active disease evidenced by relapses or imaging features characteristic of multiple sclerosis inflammatory activity, to delay the progression of physical disability.

Visit our website for additional information.

High-dose Biotin (MD1003) Failed to Reverse Functional Disability in People with Progressive Forms of Multiple Sclerosis in Phase 3 Trial

MedDay Pharmaceuticals released top-line results from the phase 3 clinical trial that aimed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of an investigational MS treatment, high-dose biotin (MD1003®) in people with progressive MS, and reported that the MD1003 did not meet its primary and secondary endpoints. Visit our website for additional information.

Stay Updated!

COVID-19 Information

The situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing rapidly across Canada. The MS Society of Canada is closely monitoring information on COVID-19 as released by the Public Health Agency of Canada and other public health authorities. The health of the MS community is our priority as we manage through concerns related to COVID-19. Stay informed with our website that is frequently updated.
Get Involved in a Research Study
The MS Research Portal is a resource provided by the MS Society of Canada that aims to connect Canadian researchers seeking participants for studies with people affected by MS who want to get involved in research. Each month, this section will highlight a select study hosted on the Portal. This month’s feature study is:

A longitudinal study of Resilience Among multiple sclerosis Care partners over Time (ReACT)

Care partners are close friends or family members who provide support or assistance for people with MS. Support and assistance could include physical, emotional, or informational. Providing ongoing support for a person with MS can be stressful and these responsibilities can have a negative effect on the health and wellbeing of care partners. Resilience may protect against such effects of caregiving. Resilience is the ability to adapt well and thrive despite a serious challenge or stressful situation. This study will examine how resilience changes over time and the factors associated with resilience among care partners of people with MS. The experience of resilience in very stressful and challenging situations, like the current COVID-19 pandemic will also be explored.

If you agree to participate in this study, you will be asked to complete an online survey on a yearly basis over a period of three years. You may also take part in two interviews (optional) to explore your experiences of resilience.

For more information and to participate in the study, visit the study page on the MS Research Portal.

Interested in a research topic or event that was not covered? Submit your feedback to
You can now subscribe to receive Research in Action. To do so visit our website and enter your email address where it says "Stay Updated". You can unsubscribe at any time.

*Note that if you have already subscribed to receive MS Updates, you will automatically receive Research in Action moving forward.
Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube Blog
About Us | Donate | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Unsubscribe
MS Society of Canada Imagine Canada
MS Society of Canada
250 Dundas Street West, Suite 500
Toronto, Ontario M5T 2Z5

Email not looking right? View email in browser

powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software