First and foremost, a huge thank you to all who have made our record investment in MS research – almost $7 million – possible in our 50th anniversary year. From our donors and fundraisers, those who have left gifts in Wills, the businesses that back our work, and all of you who are living with MS, your families, friends, carers and supporters, we say thank you. Because of you, we can fund Australia’s incredible and globally respected MS research teams.
The investment announced on February 15 will help propel us closer to our aim – a world without MS. I also want to pay tribute to both our Board for its determination to supercharge MS research, and to the entire team at MS Australia and all members of the Research Management Council (RMC). It’s the RMC that undertakes the rigorous assessment process for grant applications and ensures that the funding supports the best research projects in each of the key strategic research areas. And while this year’s research grants have occupied much of the time of our hard-working team, they have also been busy with many other important research projects, including:
- Preparations for our 50th anniversary Progress in MS Research Scientific Conference, held in Hobart from April 3-5, 2022.
- Working on our MS research ‘roadshow’ that will tour the nation to showcase the research we fund and the progress we are making towards a cure.
- The development of a proposal for a ten-year partnership with the Medical Research Future Fund.
- Preparation of publications, including topics such as how to ensure that people living with MS have direct input into research programs and MS management in general practice.
- Preparation for the launch of a major research report on the benefits of access to MS Nurses.
- Work to support the ongoing operation of the Victorian Brain Bank.
- Development of a research survey on MS and employment, to be released for World MS Day on May 30, 2022.
- Progressing the work of our several research platforms.
- Supporting global work on progressive MS research in cooperation with the International Progressive MS Alliance.
And that’s just to name a few of the many projects underway at MS Australia. I strongly encourage you to take a close look at the work we do via our website and I also encourage you to get involved and support this year’s The May 50K. Entries are now open and I’ve signed up with the aim of running my first ever marathon. I hope you join me by either taking part in The May 50K, or by supporting others who have committed to running, walking, rolling, riding, arm cranking or swimming their way to 50 kilometres during the month of May. By doing so, you will help ensure that next year, we can keep supporting the life-changing work undertaken by our stellar research community.