Identification of new targets to block inflammation in MS

Ms Megan Monaghan

The University of Adelaide, SA

| Causes and Prevention | Immunology | Scholarship | 2024 | Investigator Led Research |


In MS, cells of the immune system invade the brain and spinal cord and cause tissue damage that leads to reduced brain and spinal cord function. Potential new treatments include drugs that can block the passage of the cells of the immune system into the brain and spinal cord that promote inflammation.

In this project, Ms Monaghan will investigate certain markers on the surface of immune cells called CD4+ T cells. These markers, called chemokine receptors, help regulate the migration and activation of immune cells in response to inflammation, infection, and injury. She is particularly interested in identifying additional markers on these cells to see whether they are a specific type of immune cell that causes damage, called Th17 cells.

She will also use cutting-edge technology to create a detailed picture of the type of CD4+ T cells that infiltrate the brain and spinal cord.

This information will be invaluable for the design of next generation therapeutics that selectively block movement of inflammatory T cells into the brain in MS.

Updated: 16 February, 2024

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


Ms Meghan Monaghan


  • Dr Ian Comerford
  • Professor Shaun McColl
  • Dr Stephen Pederson

Total Funding

  • $105,000


  • 3 years – starting 2024

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Identification of new targets to block inflammation in MS