Funding support to discover ways to block the migration of T-cells responsible for MS
University of Adelaide Research Fellow, Dr Iain Comerford has secured funding from Multiple Sclerosis Australia to further his research into the factors that influence specific immune cell (T cell) migration into the bloodstream and the brain in people who have MS.
“This is fundamental research to help us understand the factors that allow the T cells responsible for inflammation, to enter in the central nervous system,” Dr Comerford says.
“The tricky thing is, not all T cells are alike, so we are trying to differentiate between those that cause the inflammatory response and those that don’t, and ascertain the markers that make them different,” he says.
Dr Comerford of the School of Biological Sciences will be researching ways to identify unique combinations of surface markers and migratory mechanisms to build a better understanding of the actions of inflammatory and regulatory T cells.
“Once we better understand those differences, there is huge potential to develop therapies to block the action of inflammatory T cells, preventing their migration into the bloodstream and the central nervous system and at the same time protecting the regulatory T cells.
“The tricky thing is, not all T cells are alike, so we are trying to differentiate between those that cause the inflammatory response and those that don’t, and ascertain the markers that make them different.”Dr Iain Comerford
“This may go some way to preventing the debilitating impacts of MS.”
Dr Comerford has been awarded $390,000 to continue his research in the 2022 MS Australia $6.5 million funding round, one of 26 recipients from universities and research centres across the country.
Still without a cure, MS is a chronic auto-immune disease affecting more than 25,000 Australians.