UNC researchers awarded $825,000 grant for multiple sclerosis research

April 16, 2008 — A team of UNC researchers has been awarded an $825,000 grant by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Their research project, headed by Jenny Ting, Ph.D., alumni distinguished professor in the School of Medicine’s department of microbiology and immunology, will explore the steps leading to central nervous system injury in multiple sclerosis (MS) and new strategies to stop the disease.

Other UNC faculty working on the project include Albert Baldwin, Ph.D., an associate director of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and Kenan distinguished professor of biology and cancer cell biology in the College of Arts and Sciences’ biology department; Manzoor Bhat, Ph.D., associate professor in the medical school’s department of cell and molecular physiology; Dr. Silva Markovic-Plese, associate professor in the department of neurology; and Glenn Matsushima, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of microbiology and immunology.

In addition to such research efforts, the society and the UNC Multiple Sclerosis Center are collaborating to develop an MS-specific curriculum in physical therapy. The society is also supporting educational enhancement opportunities for resident physicians in the department of neurology on a variety of MS topics. 

Multiple sclerosis interrupts the flow of information between the brain and the body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. This disease of the central nervous system is the most common neurological disease diagnosed in young to middle-aged adults.  MS affects more than 10,000 families in North Carolina and more than 400,000 people in the United States. Worldwide, more than 2.5 million people live with the unpredictable challenges of multiple sclerosis. 

School of Medicine contact: Tom Hughes, (919) 966-6047, tahughes@unch.unc.edu
News Services contact: Patric Lane, (919) 96-8596, patric_lane@unc.edu