Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition where a person's immune system attacks the brain and spinal cord. Robust evidence shows that a specific type of immune cell, known as B cells, are important to cause attacks of MS. B cells tend to respond to specific targets like viruses or bacteria to cause immune responses, but can also react to our own body, resulting in autoimmune disease.
One infection that is known to be important for the development of MS is Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), which can cause glandular fever. B cells can have several essential functions, including producing antibodies. Antibodies are small proteins that recognise and bind to specific targets to direct other immune cells in how to respond to infections.
This project involves using laboratory-made proteins that mimic natural antibodies, to identify and study the targets for B cells, including parts of EBV. Identifying the specific targets recognised by B cells in MS may help to diagnose the disease, identify those at higher risk of MS, and develop targeted therapies to be used in future.
Updated: 22 January, 2024
Laboratory research that investigates scientific theories behind the possible causes, disease progression, ways to diagnose and better treat MS.
Research that builds on fundamental scientific research to develop new therapies, medical procedures or diagnostics and advances it closer to the clinic.
Clinical research is the culmination of fundamental and translational research turning those research discoveries into treatments and interventions for people with MS.