A new therapeutic approach for brain repair in multiple sclerosis

Ms Danica Nheu

Monash University, VIC

| A cure via repair and regeneration | Neurobiology | Scholarship | 2023 | Investigator Led Research |


MS is one of the most common, chronic neurologic diseases of adults worldwide, affecting up to 2.5 million people worldwide with 10,000 new diagnoses made each year. MS tends to strike early in adulthood, with women three times more likely than men to be diagnosed. The total direct cost to the US community of MS is just over $28 billion annually. 

MS is thought to be caused by the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacking the brain, spinal cord or optic nerves. The primary target of this attack is myelin, the protective coating around the nerve fibres, which carry nerve impulses between nerve cells. These attacks cause active MS lesions, and the nerve cells themselves can also be damaged leading to life-long disability. 

The research team, headed by Dr Steven Petratos, has shown that a modified version of a specific protein is present within active MS lesions in a laboratory model of MS. This modified protein then interacts with another protein to cause nerve fibre damage.  

The aim of Ms Danica Nheu’s project is to now propose a new method to block either the modification or the interaction between the two proteins, to halt disease progression and provide recovery from disability. 

Updated: 22 February, 2023

Stages of the research process

Fundamental laboratory

Laboratory research that investigates scientific theories behind the possible causes, disease progression, ways to diagnose and better treat MS.

Lab to clinic timeline: 10+ years

Research that builds on fundamental scientific research to develop new therapies, medical procedures or diagnostics and advances it closer to the clinic.

Lab to clinic timeline: 5+ years
Clinical Studies
and Clinical Trials

Clinical research is the culmination of fundamental and translational research turning those research discoveries into treatments and interventions for people with MS.

Lab to clinic timeline: 1-5 years



Total Funding

  • $105,000


  • 3 years – starting 2023

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A new therapeutic approach for brain repair in multiple sclerosis