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National MS Society Commits $4.4 Million for New Studies to Drive Pathways to Cures

November 29, 2023

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has committed $4.4 million in multi-year funding to launch new MS research projects. This is part of the Society’s ongoing strategy  to align the global MS research community around the most promising areas outlined in the Pathways to Cures roadmap to stop MS, restore function and end MS.
These projects include five new research grants targeting recovery of function for people with MS and nine pilot projects that focus on understanding the role of viruses such as Epstein-Barr in MS. The Society sought out projects in these specific areas to fill knowledge gaps and to take advantage of new opportunities to drive progress toward cures for everyone living with MS.
These new studies complement existing investments for  research projects, fellowships and early career awards that support the research workforce, and are part of the Society’s annual investment of over $30 million for more than 200 new and ongoing MS research studies around the world. This includes support for the International Progressive MS Alliance – a global effort to accelerate the development of effective treatments for people with progressive MS to improve quality of life worldwide.
Here are a few of the new research projects:
STOPPING MS in its tracks:
• A team at the University of Verona in Italy is working to identify molecules that may help to link the Epstein-Barr virus to MS-specific nervous system inflammation.
• Researchers at the University of Vancouver are testing whether therapies that target the Epstein-Barr virus can improve MS-like disease in mice for clues to slowing, stopping or even preventing MS in people. This study is co-funded with MS Canada.
RESTORING what’s been lost:
• A commercial funding award to a company in Japan supports studies that are necessary before a novel molecule that might promote nervous system repair can be tested in people with progressive MS.
• Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital are testing whether combining rehabilitation for walking with a pharmacological treatment can enhance their benefits.
ENDING MS forever:
• A team at the University of California, San Francisco is exploring a possible mechanism by which the Epstein-Barr virus may trigger the immune response that damages the nervous system in people with MS.
• Yale University scientists are using cutting-edge technology to explore tissues from people newly diagnosed with MS to understand how the Epstein-Barr virus may activate the immune system to launch MS.
Learn More…
Download a Full Summary of the Newly Funded Research Projects (.pdf)
Download a list of Society-supported research projects, sorted by location (.pdf)
Download a list of Society-supported research projects, sorted by topic (.pdf)
Explore the Pathways to Cures for MS

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system. Currently there is no cure. Symptoms vary from person to person and may include disabling fatigue, mobility challenges, cognitive changes, and vision issues. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to minimize disability. Significant progress is being made to achieve a world free of MS.

About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

The National MS Society, founded in 1946, is the global leader of a growing movement dedicated to creating a world free of MS. The Society funds cutting-edge research for a cure, drives change through advocacy and provides programs and services to help people affected by MS live their best lives. Connect to learn more and get involved:, Facebook, X, formerly known as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or 1-800-344-4867.


© 2024 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is a tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Its Identification Number (EIN) is 13-5661935.