Proteomics of MS

Investigators
ProfShaunMcColl_edited.jpg

Funding

  • $675,000 (inc $375,000 from ARC) over 2010 - 2013

Summary

Australian researchers will aim to discover the proteins that cause multiple sclerosis (MS), thanks to a new nationwide research effort. This national research project is the first of its kind in Australia and one of the first of its kind in the world.

The new research project will receive funding of $1 million over four years, starting this year, under the Australian Research Council's (ARC) Linkage Projects funding scheme and from MS Research Australia.

The research is a major national MS collaboration between three Australian universities and the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, with the University of Adelaide as lead institution. 

"With MS, there are a number of major stages that occur in the disease, including activation and remission," says Prof Shaun McColl, Deputy Head of the School of Molecular & Biomedical Science at the University of Adelaide.

"At each of these major stages, certain genes are activated.  Those genes express proteins, and we believe these could have the effect of switching the disease on and off.  If we can discover the key proteins and their roles in the development of MS, we could go a long way towards finding potential treatments or cures for the condition," he says.

The area of research involved in discovering such proteins is known as proteomics.

"There is no doubt that identification of a set of proteins that are specifically linked to different stages and pathological processes in MS will provide insight into the disease," says Prof Claude Bernard, Group Leader of the Multiple Sclerosis Research Lab at Monash University.  "It will also help evaluate the prognosis of patients with MS, guide their treatment and provide novel therapeutic approaches," he says.