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Celebrating 10 years

MS Research Australia acknowledges contribution of founding CEO

3rd July, 2012

The founding Chief Executive of Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia (MSRA), Jeremy Wright, has formally announced his plan to retire from full-time executive activity and will finish in this role by early next year.

Chairman Paul A. Murnane said Jeremy had advised the MSRA board late last year. He felt that a number of the major early goals had now been achieved and it was timely to step down and allow for fresh leadership of the organisation.

Jeremy has led the national research arm of MS Australia from startup in late 2004 to its position now as the peak body for funding and facilitating MS research in Australia.

During that time the organisation has established an innovative funding model for Australian scientists researching a specific disease. It has established seven national collaborations and strong research partnerships with over 30 medical research institutes and universities around Australia and New Zealand. Similarly, MSRA has formed a strong association with the National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the government agency which also funds MS research in Australia.

‘He will be a hard act to follow. Under his stewardship of MSRA, there has been significant growth in MS research and a tenfold increase in MS Australia’s annual research funding. Jeremy and his team have an acknowledged reputation in the wider research community for their commitment to growing Australia’s capacity in basic and applied MS research. They also demonstrated an ability to be inclusive with donors and corporations to attract their support’, commented Murnane.

‘Jeremy has built lasting friendships with people with MS, their families and friends. Through this he has motivated fundraising events, small and large, held in cities and regional towns throughout the country. He leaves a powerful legacy for people with MS, namely a great sense of hope and direct engagement in research that will provide increasingly better solutions for MS.

‘The departure of a CEO is always a challenge, but it also offers an opportunity for new ideas as the momentum of significant advances in MS research continues globally and in Australia’, Murnane said.

The MSRA Board will start an executive search as part of its planned succession strategy. It expects to appoint Jeremy’s successor by early 2013.