Meet The Researcher

Dr Wolfgang Marx

Deakin University, VIC

Let's get started! Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.
I’m a big dork! Very much enjoy spending the weekend playing dungeons and dragons, reading research papers, and tinkering with gadgets.
What inspired you to get involved in MS research?
Lifestyle factors such as diet and dietary supplements could be a powerful tool to help people with MS; however, there are few studies that have investigated these interventions in the MS population. With the support of MS Research Australia, I have been able to build on this evidence.
What do you think has been the most exciting development in MS research?
The increasing evidence around the role of lifestyle factors (e.g. diet, exercise, sleep) in MS symptom management and progression. There is a huge patient interest in these factors and now we are seeing good research that is investigating this area.
Tell us about your current research project...
My research project explores the axis between diet, mood, and the gut microbiome in people with MS. A primary objective is to explore the role of diet in influencing the gut microbiome and if so, if this influences the effectiveness of interventions that target fatigue and depression.
Why is your research important and how will it influence the understanding and treatment of MS?
We are beginning to understand that the gut microbiome may influence our immune system and the pathways involved in MS. If we can expand this understanding by investigating how lifestyle and medication factors may influence this relationship, we might be able to develop targeted interventions that improve our microbiome and MS progression.
What do you enjoy most about working in the lab and what are some of the challenges you face?
My enjoyment is the challenge! Working in research offers you an endless list of questions to explore. This allows you to be always learning and upskilling but also allows you to use those skills to address a complex question that may someday help others.
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Wolfgang Marx