Multiple Sclerosis (MS) research at the University of Tasmania’s Menzies Institute for Medical Research has received another boost with two researchers receiving MS Research Australia fellowships.
Dr Julie Campbell and Dr Kalina Makowiecki have both been awarded Postdoctoral Fellowships of $180,000 for three years.
MS is a neurological disorder for which there is currently no cure. It affects almost 26,000 Australians and costs the country more than $1.75 billion annually. MS has been a research focus at Menzies for more than 20 years and is now a key priority with the establishment of the MS Research Flagship Program, which was last year awarded $10 million in federal funding.
These new fellowships highlight the range of MS research conducted by the flagship. Dr Campbell will develop and test a health economics tool to help with the assessment of the financial and societal impact of MS and interventions that aim to improve quality of life or halt the disease. Dr Makowiecki is working on determining how losing nerve cell insulation in the brain causes memory problems in people living with the disease.
The Director of the Menzies Institute for Medical Research, Distinguished Professor Alison Venn, welcomed the new funding.
“Tasmania has the highest prevalence of MS in Australia, and every increase in research funding means we can work towards improving the lives of people living with MS.”
These fellowships are part of $2.4 million in funding from MS Research Australia for grants commencing this month.
The CEO of MS Research Australia, Dr Matthew Miles, said Australia was home to exceptional talent in the area of MS research.
“We are excited to see the results of these Menzies Institute researchers’ efforts in the coming years. Their findings will contribute to our understanding of MS and accelerate progress towards achieving our ultimate goal to stop and reverse MS.”