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MS Researchers in Wisconsin

Shing-yan (Bill) Chiu, Ph.D. – University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Dr. Shing-yan Chiu receives Society research award spring 2015. To read more, click here.

Bill Chiu is looking at a molecule called syntaphilin, which acts like a glue for mitochondria (tiny energy factories) inside the nerve fibers. Dr. Chiu and his colleagues are examining whether deleting syntaphilin will “unglue” the mitochondria in nerve fibers, reverse the accumulation of mitochondria and improve disease severity in an animal model of MS. 

Dr. Chiu is a professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Washington. 

Read more about Shing-yan Chiu.


Bonnie Dittel, Ph.D. – BloodCenter of Wisconsin - Blood Research Institute
Bonnie Dittel investigates the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the autoimmune response. Through her most recent grant from the National MS Society, Dr. Dittel is looking at how an immune system signaling molecule, called CD86, suppresses MS-like disease for clues to new treatments to stop MS disease activity. 

Dr. Dittel is a Senior Investigator at the BloodCenter of Wisconsin-BloodResearch Institute, located in Milwaukee. She is an assistant adjunct professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She completed her doctoral training at the University of Minnesota and continued her postdoctoral training at Yale University. Dittel served as a member of a National MS Society Peer Review Committee.

Read more about Bonnie Dittel


Ian Duncan, BVMS, Ph.D. – University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine
Ian Duncan was the recipient of a $3.4 million grant from the National MS Society Promise: 2010 Nervous System Repair and Protection initiative. One of the goals of his research is to repair the myelin sheaths that are damaged in MS. Duncan demonstrated that remyelination can occur in an animal model that has extensive demyelination. His team also studies transplantation of myelin-making cells to repair damage in the nervous system.

Dr. Duncan is a professor of neurology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. He completed his Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine & Surgery and doctorate studies at Glasgow University.

Read more about Ian Duncan.


Aaron Field, M.D., Ph.D. – University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
A world-renowned expert in MRI techniques for brain imaging, Dr. Field is developing methods to increase the sensitivity of scans to detect MS activity. His expertise has been called upon by several MS Society-funded researchers who call him the imaging “go-to guy.” Dr. Field’s research has been funded by the Society and he received a Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to study lesion patterns found in MRIs, including pre-lesional changes in MS.

Dr. Aaron Field is a tenured Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Engineering, and Chief of Neuroradiology in the Department of Radiology, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin–Madison. He studied Electrical Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and completed the M.D./Ph.D. Program in Bioengineering at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago.

Read more about Dr. Field.


John Fleming, M.D. – University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
John Fleming is studying the ingestion of worm eggs to change the immune response in patients with MS, based on the “hygiene hypothesis,” which suggest that developed countries have high incidences of autoimmune disease because there is little exposure to parasites and other infections.

Dr. Fleming is an emeritus professor of neurology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and was the director of the MS Clinic at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. Dr. Fleming  went to medical school at State University of New York. He completed an internship at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, his Residency at Northshore University Hospital and Cornell University and his Fellowship at the University of Southern California. He currently serves on the Wisconsin Chapter’s Healthcare Advisory Committee.

Read more about Dr. John Fleming.


Colleen Hayes, Ph.D. – University of Wisconsin-Madison
Colleen Hayes is researching vitamin D’s role in MS. Hayes is studying how vitamin D and calcitriol, the hormone form of vitamin D, may be used to prevent and treat EAE, an MS-like disease in mice. Hayes and her colleagues are also investigating the interaction between vitamin D and estrogen and the role it may play in controlling MS-like immune attacks.

Hayes is a professor of biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She completed her undergraduate studies at DePauw University and earned her doctorate at the University of Michigan.

Read more about Colleen Hayes.


Alexander Ng, Ph.D., F.A.C.S.M. - Marquette University
Alexander Ng’s research focuses on symptomatic fatigue in chronic disease with an emphasis on multiple sclerosis and cancer survivors. He looks at various forms of exercise, such as ballroom dancing, and its application in MS. 

Dr. Ng is an associate professor in the Exercise Science Program at Marquette University. He completed his undergraduate studies in Biological Sciences at the University of California-Davis and earned Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. He was inducted into the National MS Society’s Volunteer Hall of Fame in 2014 for his efforts in MS research.

Read more about Alexander Ng.



Hao-Zhang-(1).jpgHao Zhang, Ph.D. - Medical College of Wisconsin
Hao Zhang, along with Bonnie Dittel from the Blood Research Institute BloodCenter of Wisconsin, received a nearly $650,000 grant in 2014. They are studying whether blocking free radicals in an MS model will provide clues to stopping disease progression in people with MS. 
Dr. Zhang is an assistant professor in Pediatric Surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Ohio State University. 

Read more about Hao Zhang.
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