Does stem cell transplant deplete EBV reservoirs in MS?

Dr Jennifer Massey

St Vincent's Centre for Applied Medical Research, NSW

| Better treatments | Immunology | Incubator | 2023 | Investigator Led Research |


This project investigates whether Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) may be the cause of MS through studying the effect of autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplant (AHSCT), a highly effective MS therapy, on an individual’s immune response to EBV. 

The project will investigate whether EBV reactivates after AHSCT, as has been suggested by one prior study. Next, the project will determine whether people with MS who have undergone AHSCT who develop a new immune system capable of rapidly controlling EBV are more likely to have a sustained response to treatment. 

This research will have direct implications on  

1) Understanding of the role EBV plays in causing MS. 

2) Treatment of people with MS.  

This knowledge will help clinicians alter the way in which AHSCT is performed (e.g., with anti-viral or cellular therapies) to better control EBV if it is shown to be relevant to disease remission.

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

  • $25,000


  • 1 year – starting 2023

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Does stem cell transplant deplete EBV reservoirs in MS?