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FAQs about Society Research


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Does the Society run its own labs?

No. This would duplicate facilities already available at top-notch universities. The Society instead funds investigators working on projects at their own institutions.

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How does the Society decide which direction we should be taking in research?

Strategic research decisions are made through a process of consensus building among advisors and specially constituted groups engaged for this purpose. Our Research Programs Advisory Committee (see Peer Review committees) is charged with ongoing review of the state of MS research and recommending areas for new focus or changed emphasis. The Society recently engaged in consensus-building on priorities to guide our research funding in coming years. Read about the Society's Research Principles and Priorities

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What percentage of Society expenses supports the research mission?

According to our latest annual report, research accounts for 22 percent of all money spent by the Society.

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What promise do stem cells hold for people with MS?

Although no one really knows the precise answer to this question, it is clear that stem cells of all types hold unexplored potential.

In November 2015, the International Conference on Cell-Based Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis was convened in Lisbon, Portugal under the auspices of the International Advisory Committee on Clinical Trials in MS (a group jointly sponsored by the National MS Society and the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis). Participants reviewed current experience with, and value of, specific cell-based therapies. A review of the findings and consensus on next steps has been published by the conference organizers, with recommendations to help speed the development of new cell-based treatment solutions.  Read more about this review

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Where does the Society fund research?

Here are a Few Places Where the Society is Supporting Cutting-Edge Research:

  • Harvard University

  • Yale University

  • Johns Hopkins University

  • Mayo Clinic

  • Cleveland Clinic Foundation

  • Stanford University

  • UCLA and UC San Francisco

  • Washington University

  • University of Cambridge, UK

  • Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

  • Medical University of Vienna

  • INSERM, Paris

  • Montreal Neurological Institute

  • University of British Columbia

  • University of Zurich

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Where does the Society’s research money go?

Our research money supports a spectrum of grants, collaborations and training fellowships, which includes support for research personnel, supplies and equipment. We also support scientific workshops to encourage cross-fertilization of ideas and to facilitate communication of new findings in a field that, owing to the nature of MS, encompasses may different scientific disciplines.


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