Although many risk factors for MS have been identified, the exact causes and triggers for the disease are not yet known. Much research has been dedicated to further understanding the mechanisms of lesion formation and the potential external triggers that may underlie MS onset.
Under the supervision of Dr Simon Willis, Mr Girardin will undertake a ten week vacation scholarship aiming to further contribute to this field of research. His research project has two major aims. The first it to gain greater insight into the early changes in gene expression that are associated with MS lesion formation, using post-mortem brain tissue donated to the Multiple Sclerosis Society Tissue Bank at Imperial College London. The second aim is to identify whether any infectious agent(s) are present in MS brain tissue that may contribute to disease development and to understand the nature of the immune response that may be directed towards these infectious agents.
The primary objective of the work to be undertaken during Mr Girardin’s vacation scholarship is to 1) validate a subset of the transcriptional changes associated with lesion formation and 2) confirm the expression of the identified infectious agents in MS brain and 3) assess whether they are targeted by the immune system in MS patients.
This line of research helps to enhance understanding of MS disease development and may also lead to new lines of prevention or treatment.
Updated: 1 March 2016
Updated: 01 January, 2016