Analysing the sex chromosomes in MS

Dr Yuan Zhou

Dr Yuan Zhou

Menzies Institute for Medical Research, TAS

| Causes and Prevention | Genetics | Travel Award | 2019 | Investigator Led Research |


There are well-recognised differences between males and females when it comes to MS. Approximately three quarters of those diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS in Australia are female. However, males are on average older at diagnosis and are more likely to develop progressive disease than females, suggesting a potential role of the sex chromosomes in MS. Some of the genes found on the female sex chromosome, the X chromosome, have shown some association with MS, but there is very little known about the genes on the Y chromosome, and whether they play any role in MS.

The International Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium (IMSGC) has carried out large genetic studies which have been successful in identifying genetic risk factors for MS, with 200 MS related genetic variants being identified so far. The IMSGC studies have involved the largest amount of MS genetic data to date. Through this Travel Award Dr Yuan Zhou will be able to work closely with the leading members of the IMSGC to develop a pipeline specially designed for sex chromosome analysis. This work will provide insights into the differences in the risk of MS between males and females. This collaboration will enable a new understanding of MS onset and progression, which has the potential to lead to innovative ways to intervene in the disease process and improve our understanding of MS.

Updated: 23 January 2019

Updated: 01 January, 2019

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


Grant Awarded

  • Ian Ballard Travel Award

Total Funding

  • $9,368.88


  • 1 year

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Analysing the sex chromosomes in MS