Dr Claire McCoy was awarded an Incubator Grant in 2018, fully funded by the Trish MS Research Foundation, titled, “Encouraging the natural repair abilities of immune cells”.
Dr McCoy and her team have successfully created a laboratory model of MS in which the miR-155 is selectively absent in macrophage cells. Macrophages move in large numbers into the brain and spinal cord during the progression of MS and cause damage and demyelination to the nerve cells.
The team has assessed the effects of removing miR-155 on disease progression and severity in a laboratory model of MS. They have also assessed the effects of removing miR-155 in macrophages has had on the other cells in the immune system, and whether it influences the movement of immune cells to different parts of the body, including the number of immune cells that move into the brain and spinal cord. The results are currently under embargo while they are prepared to be written up for a scientific journal. We look forward to reporting on these results when they are published.
This work is ongoing and Dr McCoy has used data from this incubator project to successfully secure significant funding to continue this important work. She has managed to secure €1.5m from the Science Foundation Ireland.