A key aim of the network is to get researchers working together on research priorities that can be more rapidly translated to the clinic to make a difference in people’s lives. This aim is shared with the Health-Science Alliance which brings together a number of medical research institutes, universities and hospitals in the Randwick area of Sydney and tackles a range of diseases.
The most recent meeting in June was co-hosted by the two networks at the University of NSW. The meeting was opened by Mr Peter Joseph AM, chairman of the Health-Science Alliance and Professor Terry Campbell AM, convener of the Health-Science Alliance and Deputy Dean of Medicine at the University of NSW. Dr Matthew Miles, Chief Executive Officer of MS Research Australia, then discussed the overlap between the two networks and potential for collaboration.
Scientific presentations from researchers and clinicians from around NSW covered a range of topics from biomedical and social and applied research areas. Associate Professor David Brown, from St Vincent’s Centre for Applied Medical Research, presented his work on the cells of the innate immune system in the brain and spinal cord and Dr Anna Zinger, from the University of Sydney, presented her work on plasma microparticles in MS. Dr Fabienne Brilot-Turville, of the Kids Research Institute in Westmead, spoke about her research into paediatric MS. Dr Gila Moalem-Taylor, from the University of Sydney, presented her upcoming project on neuropathic pain mechanisms in MS.
Dr Phu Hoang from NeuRA and Dr Ché Fornusek of the University of Sydney, are working in the field of allied health in MS and are both recipients of MS Research Australia funding. Dr Hoang presented his research looking at preventing falls in people with MS and Dr Fornusek spoke about his project testing electrical stimulation exercise in MS. These projects dovetailed nicely with a presentation from Dr Davide Filingeri from the University of Sydney, regarding temperature regulation during exercise in MS and another from Dr Matthew Brodie of NeuRA who works on gait and falls in the older population.
The meeting was very successful and is the first in a series of meetings that will be co-hosted by the NSW MS Research Network and health and medical research hubs from around the state.