Commencing 2019, Dr Simon Murray and his Co-investigator Dr Jessica Fletcher, The University of Melbourne, were awarded a two-year Project Grant fully funded by the Trish Foundation.
In the first year of his project grant, Dr Murray has established and characterised a new pre-clinical laboratory model of MS where the survival of precursor myelin producing cells is impaired, as well as their ability to form mature myelin-producing cells. This laboratory model more closely mimics what occurs in MS compared to other laboratory models.
Dr Murray is now performing experiments to determine whether the compound that mimics BDNF can repair myelin and plays a role in the growth and maturation of precursor myelin producing cells in this new laboratory model. While still in the early stages, it is hoped that this compound could potentially be a new treatment option for people with progressive MS.
Dr Murray has presented this work at an international conference.
Dr Murray’s Co-investigator, Dr Jessica Fletcher said, “Engaging with others helps us stay at the forefront of research and adapt to new findings which can change our perspective on how MS or myelin repair occurs. It’s also fulfilling to share our work with other researchers and the public through talks and presentations.”