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$31.4M international collaborative research funding includes McGill project


Boston, MA – A project at McGill University being led by principal investigator David Haegert is among the successful recipients of the first round of 22 research grants to projects in nine countries by the International Progressive MS Alliance. The grants are being awarded with the goal of removing barriers to developing treatments for progressive MS.

The alliance is a worldwide collaboration focused on finding solutions to progressive forms of multiple sclerosis that have so far eluded the scientific community.

This first round of funding launches an ambitious program that will cumulatively invest €22 million (nearly $30 million USD) over the next six years and will forge international collaborative research networks — leveraging research already underway and stimulating new research through the alliance’s significant funding programs.

For the initial offering, 195 research proposals were received from 22 countries around the world.  

“The research community’s response to our first call for innovative research proposals has been exceptional, and speaks to both the unmet need and the galvanizing force of this international initiative,” said Cynthia Zagieboylo, chair of the Alliance Executive Committee and CEO of the National MS Society (USA). “For the first time, MS societies around the globe are funding research together, without considering geography, in order to find the answers the progressive MS community urgently needs.”

The 22 first-round projects will be directed by scientists at leading research universities and companies in these key areas (comprehensive summaries of each grant can be viewed at www.ProgressiveMSAlliance.org):

  • Clinical trials and outcome measures: University Hasselt (Belgium), Imperial College London (United Kingdom), Johns Hopkins University (United States), Mount Sinai School of Medicine (United States), Umea University (Sweden)
  • Biomarkers of progression: VU University Medical Center (Netherlands), Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (Spain)
  • Gene studies: Karolinska Institute (Sweden), University of California-San Francisco (United States), The International Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium (UK)
  • Rehabilitation trials: Kessler Foundation Research Center (United States), Plymouth University (United Kingdom)
  • Underlying pathology of progression: Brigham and Women’s Hospital (United States), VU University Medical Center (Netherlands), McGill University (Canada), Monash University (Australia), University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom), University of Verona (Italy), Yale University (United States)
  • Developing new disease models: Renovo Neural, Inc. (United States), Stanford University (United States)

Dr Haegert has been awarded €74,739 for his project that studies T-cell activation molecules and progressive MS.