Meet The Researcher

dr-malini-visweswaran

Dr Malini Visweswaran

St Vincent's Centre for Applied Medical Research

About
Let's get started! Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.
I enjoy participating in memory sports, particularly in memorising random words in the same sequence. The best I have done is up to 110 words.
What inspired you to get involved in MS research?
My research career during the last decade, including my PhD involved working in the field of stem cells. Now in my current lab it is an exciting opportunity to study the effects of autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT) on the immunometabolic profile in MS patients. It is a very rewarding feeling to be working in translation research and to use my research skills to contribute to the knowledge in MS research.
What do you think has been the most exciting development in MS research?
It is exciting to see the ongoing advances in MS research which is helping to better understand the disease and develop effective treatment strategies, particularly the findings on the immunological changes occurring in MS.
Tell us about your current research project...
This is a novel approach to comprehensively analyse the cellular metabolic profile of immune cells in MS. This will tell us if any immunometabolic dysfunctions exist in MS and how that is altered by AHSCT.
Why is your research important and how will it influence the understanding and treatment of MS?
This will be an innovative approach to capture the overall metabolic signature of different immune cells in MS. Findings from this study can be used to better understand the disease mechanisms and develop targeted therapies in the future. Additionally, the bioenergetic status of immune cells could potentially serve as a biomarker and a prognostic tool in MS.
What do you enjoy most about working in the lab and what are some of the challenges you face?
I enjoy the process of research right from conceptualising project ideas, planning, and implementing the project. This process comes with its own set of challenges right from obtaining research funding for the project to trouble shooting experiments in the lab. All these become worthwhile as the knowledge gained can be eventually used to improve the lives of people living with MS.
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Dr Malini Visweswaran