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Current MS Research in Northern California

The National MS Society continues to pursue all promising paths to uncover solutions for everyone with MS, wherever those opportunities exist, with particular focus on progressive MS, nervous system repair and wellness/lifestyle. The year 2013 produced positive results from previous investments in research and the Society is committed to expanding its research funding to further speed these advances.

The significant research progress that has occurred offers new leads that are driving efforts to stop MS in its tracks, restore function and end MS forever; providing better understanding on what’s causing MS damage and progression; the benefits of early and continuous treatment; and the factors that influence the body’s brain repair mechanisms.

Locally, Northern California is an important hub of MS research. The following are current Society-funded studies taking place at Northern California institutions. 

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Stopping MS in its Tracks

  • Emma Masteller, Ph.D. of Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc., has received a Fast Forward grant for $1,000,000 for preclinical testing of an agent focused against innate immune activity in MS. 5/18/2010 to 9/30/2014.
  • Jae Kyu Ryu, Ph.D. of The J. David Gladstone Institutes, has received a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for $169,083 to study a molecule that may trigger immune attacks which cause nerve tissue damage in MS. 7/1/2011 to 6/30/2014.
  • Jorge Oksenberg, Ph.D. of UCSF has received a Research Grant for $1,560,377 to bank genetic material from individuals and families with MS as a shared resource for studies searching for genes that confer susceptibility to MS. 7/1/2012 to 6/30/2017.
  • Michel Varrin-Doyer, Ph.D. of UCSF has received a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for $175,804 to investigate how immune system cells are activated in a disease with some features similar to MS. 7/1/2012 to 6/30/2015.
  • Ari Green, M.D. of UCSF, has received the Harry Weaver Neuroscience Scholarship for $771,772 to develop a technique to measure the health and injury of nerve cells, as a potential tool for quickly evaluating the potential of therapies to protect the nervous system in MS. 7/1/2012 to 6/30/2017.
  • Lawrence Steinman, M.D. of Stanford University, has received a Research Grant for $510,975 to find a way to predict who will respond to treatment with interferon beta. 10/1/2012 to 9/30/2015.
  • H.-Christian von Büdingen, M.D. of UCSF has received a Research Grant for $485,808 to examine the relationship between B cells in the blood and those in the brain to improve MS diagnosis and therapy. 10/1/2012 to 9/30/2015.
  • Scott Zamvil, M.D., Ph.D. of UCSF has received a Research Grant for $614,599 to distinguish immune responses in MS and neuromyelitis optica. 10/1/2012 to 9/30/2015.
  • Dirk Baumjohann, Ph.D., of UCSF has received a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for $175,804 to understand the function of immune cells in MS-like disease for clues to developing new treatments to stop MS. 7/1/2013 to 6/30/2016.
  • Naresha Saligrama, Ph.D. of Stanford University, has received a Postdoctoral Fellowship for $163,103 to determine which type of immune cells tend to make MS worse. 7/1/2014 to 6/30/2017.

Restoring What's Been Lost

  • Jonah Chan, Ph.D. of UCSF, has received the Harry Weaver Neuroscience Scholarship for $379,167 to look for ways to encourage the growth of new myelin-forming cells to repair damage in MS. 6/1/2010 to 6/30/2014.
  • Shen-Yi Howng, Ph.D. of UCSF has received a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for $150,800 to study brain cells that contribute to myelin formation and destruction in MS, for clues to reducing nervous system damage. 7/1/2011 to 6/30/2014.
  • Jonah Chan, Ph.D. of UCSF, has received a Research Grant for $680,625 to use advanced technology to understand how myelin forms, for clues to its repair. 9/30/2011 to 9/30/2014.
  • Wenbin Deng, Ph.D. of UC Davis, has received a Research Grant for $310,018 to investigate the therapeutic potential of using cells derived from adult skin to repair nerve-insulating myelin damaged during the course of MS. 7/1/2012 to 6/30/2014.
  • Sabeen Lulu, M.B.B.S. of UCSF has received the Sylvia Lawry Physician Fellowship for $130,000 to learn how to design and conduct clinical trials to find better treatments for people with MS. 7/1/2012 to 6/30/2014.
  • William Talbot, Ph.D. of Stanford University, has received a Research Grant for $479,143 to determine how the instructions to make nerve-insulating myelin move from inside the cell out to where its construction occurs. 10/1/13 to 9/30/16.
  • Ben Barres, MD, Ph.D. of Stanford University, has received a Research Grant for $505,936 to explore how myelin is made, with the goal of finding ways to repair damaged myelin in people with MS. 1/1/2013 to 12/31/2015.
  • William Talbot, Ph.D. of Stanford University, has received a Research Grant for $468,555 to identify genes involved in the production of myelin to find new ways to repair damaged myelin in MS. 7/1/2012 to 6/30/2015.
  • Tracy Yuen, Ph.D. of UCSF, has received a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for $163,103 to study how glucocorticoids, steroid-like drugs often used to treat acute MS attacks, may influence the repair of myelin. 7/1/2012 to 6/30/2015.
  • Katerina Akassoglou, Ph.D. of The J. David Gladstone Institutes, has received a grant for $567,422 to investigate the possible role of a blood protein called fibrinogen in inhibiting myelin repair in MS. 4/1/2014 to 3/31/2017.
  • Sam Pleasure, MD, Ph.D. of UCSF, has received a Pilot Research Grant for $44,000 to map the synaptic partners of oligodendrocyte precursor cells to determine why immature myelin-making cells fail to repair myelin damage in MS. 4/1/2014 to 3/31/2015.

Ending MS Forever

  • Sergio Baranzini, Ph.D. of UCSF has received a Harry Weaver Neuroscience Scholarship for $699,836 to evaluate the complex factors that cause MS to find new ways to treat it. 7/1/2009 to 6/30/2014.
  • Emmanuelle  Waubant, MD, Ph.D., of UCSF, has received a research grant for $542,553 to understand the association between microbes in the digestive tract and the risk of developing MS in childhood. 4/1/2013 to 3/31/2016.

News Updates

UCSF's Jeffrey Gelfand, MD receives Society's Institutional Clinician Training Award

April 1, 2014
 
Congratulations to Jeffrey Gelfand, MD, of UCSF who has received the National MS Society's Institutional Clinician Training Award. Consistent with its mission to move toward a world free of multiple sclerosis, the Society now offers the Institutional Clinician Training Award, a five-year award to mentors and institutions to provide training for board-certified/eligible neurologists and psychiatrists in MS specialist care. The goal is for fellows to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to provide the highest quality of care for individuals with MS.

UCSF's Susan Anzalone, MD, receives award for specialized MS care training

April 1, 2014

Congratulations to Susan Anzalone, MD, of UCSF for receiving the National MS Society's award for training in specialized MS care. The award provides one year of post-residency training with experienced mentors, to optimize care and quality of life for people with MS. She will be mentored by Emmanuelle Waubant, MD, PhD.

Video: UCSF's Dr. Chan speaks about MS research & Baranick Prize

September 19, 2013

UCSF's Dr. Jonah Chan, the first recipient of the Barancik Prize for groundbreaking MS Research, talks about his work in this video.

Neuroscientist Jonah Chan, PhD, at the University of California, San Francisco, is the first recipient of a new international prize launched to recognize innovation and progress in multiple sclerosis (MS) research. Dr. Chan, Associate Professor of Neurology and holder of the Debbie and Andy Rachleff Endowed Chair in Neurology, is being presented with the award and $100,000 cash prize at a luncheon here in New York to recognize his pioneering work that applies new technologies to the search for ways to stimulate brain repair in people who have MS. Click here to read the rest of the article.

Cutting-edge brain science by UCSF researcher wins first Barancik Prize for Innovation in MS Research

September 17, 2013

Neuroscientist Jonah Chan, PhD, at the University of California, San Francisco, is the first recipient of a new international prize launched to recognize innovation and progress in multiple sclerosis (MS) research. Dr. Chan, Associate Professor of Neurology and holder of the Debbie and Andy Rachleff Endowed Chair in Neurology, is being presented with the award and $100,000 cash prize at a luncheon here in New York to recognize his pioneering work that applies new technologies to the search for ways to stimulate brain repair in people who have MS. Click here to read the rest of the article.

Stephen-HauserProfessor Stephen Hauser of UCSF wins prestigious international award for research in MS

March 19, 2013

The Multiple Sclerosis International Federation is delighted to announce that Professor Stephen L. Hauser, MD, is the 2013 winner of the Charcot award in recognition of his pioneering studies in MS genetic susceptibility and role in translating immunologic findings into clinical trials. For more than two decades, Professor Hauser has led the Department of Neurology at the University of California San Francisco, and in this role has trained and inspired a generation of younger neurologists. Click here to read the rest of the article.

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