Fellowships: Attracting & Retaining Talent in MS Research and Care
This past year, over 10,000 constituents affected by MS were asked what they want from their MS Society. And they responded loud and clear. One of three major overarching messages was that the Society should seek to attract and retain more scientists and clinicians in the field of MS research and care. In response, the Society will focus more attention on this important area of our comprehensive research strategy to STOP MS, RESTORE function lost to the disease, and END MS forever.
The Society will boldly seek out and engage the brightest young talent through our fellowship program. We know – and have heard our constituents’ support – that we must encourage and support a new generation of talented and committed MS researchers and clinicians who have potential to make significant contributions to MS research and care. The Society’s fellowship program is the cornerstone of this response – providing critical funding to attract talent to the field of MS research and care, and offering awardees valuable mentorships with world-renowned MS scientists and physicians.
Hear about the Society’s fellowship program and the exciting work of a current Society Jr. Faculty Fellowship Awardee and mentor to other Society-funded fellows during an interview with Dr. Phil de Jager and Dr. Jennifer Stark, conducted by Ms. Kate Milliken.
Philip L. De Jager, MD, PhD is the Steven R. and Kathleen P. Haley Distinguished Chair for the Neurosciences at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital and is an associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School. He is the director for basic and translational research at the Neurosciences Institute of the Brigham & Women’s Hospital. He continues to practice clinical neurology, seeing patients within the Partners Multiple Sclerosis Center that is affiliated with the Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. In 2008, he received the prestigious Harry Weaver Neuroscience Scholar Award from the National MS Society. He also currently mentors Society postdoctoral fellows. His work focuses on understanding the genomic architecture of neurologic diseases such as multiple sclerosis and aging-related cognitive decline.
Jennifer Stark, PhD is the National MS Society’s Director of Research Training Programs, overseeing several postdoctoral fellowship programs. She began her training with a B.A. in biology and psychology from Wesleyan University, and did translational research before going on to earn a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Ohio State University. Prior to joining the Society, she conducted research on the immunology of MS as a postdoctoral fellow at Washington University in St. Louis.
Ms. Kate Milliken is a film and television producer and founder of Milligrace Productions, a company specializing in 12-15 minute personal documentaries. She has been involved in the MS movement since her diagnosis in 2006. Most recently, she applied her professional production talents and passion for a world free of MS to the Society’s inspirational We Keep Moving series.