Starting in 2018, WAMS will help fund a large research network project of the International Progressive MS Alliance, led by Dr. Douglas Arnold of the Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill University. Dr. Arnold and his international team of researchers will use cutting-edge computer science tools and a rich archive of MRI brain scans to identify signatures that may point to why someone is progressing in their disease. Understanding how or why someone may progress in their disease is critical in the development of providing new treatments and hope for those living with MS.
Since its inception in April of 2005, the WAMS Gala Luncheon in Ontario has raised over $3.8 million which has supported the following initiatives.
A five-year Transitional Career Development Award for Dr. Cornelia Laule, University of British Columbia, which allowed her to transition from a post-doctoral fellow to establishing her own lab. This foundational award has permitted her to advance her research on imaging the brain which aims to identify people who are at risk of progression in their MS early in the disease course.
A three-year operating grant for Dr. Bradley Kerr from the University of Alberta for a gender-based study of neuropathic pain. This study is assessing if pain sensitivity can be modulated by exercise and if different responses are seen in female versus male mice. This fundamental research has the potential to generate important insights into the mechanisms underlying pain which will pave the way for more effective therapies.
A two-year funding partnership with the Centre for Drug Research and Development to help advance research projects that have potential translational and commercial capacity in delivering treatments for people living with progressive MS. While there are 14 disease-modifying therapies approved in Canada for relapsing-remitting MS, there is an unmet need to establish therapeutics for progressive MS. The partnership between the MS Society and CDRD is critical to advancing research from the laboratory to the clinic. By harnessing CDRD’s industry-grade drug development and commercialization infrastructure, projects funded with CDRD are poised to bridge the gap between discovery research and clinical trials.