Meet The Researcher

Dr Belinda Kaskow

Dr Belinda Kaskow

Murdoch University, WA

Let’s get started! Tell us an interesting fact about yourself...
I am attempting to make every recipe from a recipe book often used in my childhood: Australian Women's Weekly Cookbook: Sweet Old-Fashioned Favourites.
What inspired you to get involved in MS research?
I am fascinated by the interplay of genetic and environmental risk factors for the development of MS in particular reference to the immune system. The immune system is so finely balanced and even when it is dysregulated like in MS, there are mechanisms trying to bring it back to homeostasis.
What do you think has been the most exciting development in MS research?
The advancements in very effective disease modifying therapies for RRMS is incredible exciting.
Tell us about your current research project...
In the immune system, regulatory T cells (Tregs) are responsible for controlling the inflammation driven by effector T cells. However, in MS, Tregs are unable to control these effector T cells leading to attacks on the central nervous system. This project will investigate whether Tregs in people with Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS), the first clinical sign of MS, are abnormal. This will help identify how early this immune imbalance occurs and yield insight into disease initiation.
Why is your research important and how will it influence the understanding and treatment of MS?
Understanding immune system dysfunction at the earliest clinical time point to study MS (CIS) allows us to better understand the disease course so that we can develop therapies to halt disease progression.
What do you enjoy most about working in the lab and what are some of the challenges you face?
My favourite part of working in the lab is designing the best experiment to answer the question we are interested in. It requires a lot of thought, innovation and patience. While challenges come in various forms, I am privileged to be part of an encouraging, enthusiastic and passionate team with the ultimate goal of bettering the lives of people living with MS.

Current Research Project

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Dr Belinda Kaskow