Baltimore Researcher Receives $260,000 for Multiple Sclerosis Research

WASHINGTON, DC – A Baltimore researcher will receive $260,000 to continue his investigation into multiple sclerosis (MS)—a disease in which the immune system attacks the brain and leads to inflammation, disrupting the flow of information between the brain and the body—through the Clinical Research Training Fellowship in MS, cosponsored by the American Brain Foundation and the National MS Society. The award was presented in Washington, DC, during the American Academy of Neurology’s 67th Annual Meeting, the world’s largest meeting of neurologists.

Michael Kornberg, MD, PhD, a chief resident of adult neurology at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, received the award for his examination of nitric oxide (NO), a chemical produced by activated immune cells that contributes to the damage caused by inflammation in MS. NO acts in large part by modifying proteins—a process known as nitrosylation—and a major target of nitrosylation is a protein named GAPDH.

“The goal of this project is to study the role of GAPDH nitrosylation in MS and examine the ability of selegiline and related drugs that block GAPDH nitrosylation to alleviate disease in rodent models of MS,” said Kornberg. “If these drugs are found to be effective in models, they may hold promise as a new treatment for MS in humans, possibly even in progressive forms of the disease. Most importantly, since these drugs are already in use in other diseases and are known to be safe, their development for use in MS could be expedited.”

The three-year award will consist of an annual salary of approximately $75,000 plus $7,850 per year for health insurance or research/educational expenses. Clinical research is the fundamental transition stage between discovery and treatment and provides the scientific basis for all forms of care, addresses patient and caregiver needs and is the backbone for drug development and cost-effectiveness studies needed to improve lives. Fellowships provide recipients with up to three years of “protected time,” with salary that allows them to continue important research projects.

Added Kornberg, “I’m honored, excited, and grateful to have received this award. Not only does it allow me to pursue research that I hope will yield insights into and potential therapies for MS, but it will also provide crucial early support as I embark on a career as a clinician-scientist.”

Learn more about MS at http://patients.aan.com/.

About the American Brain Foundation The American Brain Foundation, founded by the American Academy of Neurology, supports crucial research and education to discover causes, improved treatments, and cures for brain and other nervous system diseases. Learn more at http://www.americanbrainfoundation.org/ or find the Foundation on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society The Society mobilizes people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS. To fulfill this mission, the Society funds cutting-edge research, drives change through advocacy, facilitates professional education, collaborates with MS organizations around the world, and provides programs and services designed to help people with MS and their families move their lives forward. To move us closer to creating a world free of MS, last year alone, the Society invested nearly $50 million to support more than 380 new and ongoing research projects around the world while providing program services to over one million people. Join the movement at http://www.nationalmssociety.org/. 

 

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