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GMSI Award 2015 – Updates on the GMSI 2013 and 2014 Award Winners

David Bates


This lecture was given at the GMSI Award Event, 8th October 2015. The GMSI award was supported by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Professor Bates is in the Department of Neurology, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Professor Bates briefly summarised progress made by the recipients of the 2013 and 2014 grants.

Dr. Joshua Bacon from New York (2013) used the sound lateralisation test to demonstrate slowed processing speed in multiple sclerosis patients with minimal to mild disability.

Dr. Kevin O'Connor from Yale (2013) has demonstrated that B cells populating the multiple sclerosis brain mature in the draining cervical lymph nodes.

Dr. Daniel Harrison of Johns Hopkins University (2013) is studying the automated quantification of subpial demyelination and axonal injury with 7 Tesla MRI.

Dr. Thomas Thum of Hannover (2013) is working on an innovative microRNA-based kit for the detection and prognostic evaluation of patients with MS.

Dr. Stankoff from Paris (2014) is looking at PET scanning with [18F]flumenazil .

Drs Domercq and Matute from Bilbao, Spain, (2014) are working on re-educating microglia by P2X4 receptor manipulation as an alternative therapy in MS.

There is an inflammatory humoral response during CNS inflammation by infiltrating neutrophils.  Dr. Axtell from Oklahoma (2014) has shown that this occurs through a BAFF- and  APRIL-mediated mechanism.

Dr. Sue Metcalfe from  Cambridge (2014) has continued her work on leukaemia inhibitory factor (LIF) nanotherapy to promote self-tolerance and myelin repair in MS.

Dr. Dominguez-Villar from Yale (2014) has identified several potential targets which when modulated may restore the suppressive capacity of regulatory T cells.

Professor Bates then summarised the selection procedure. In the initial presentation, the ideas are briefly presented and sent to the assessing panel in an anonymous form. The proposed research must be innovative, related to MS, robust and with a scientific rationale that withstands scrutiny. Moreover, it must be feasible within the time constraints and be of practical utility.

There were 146 initial applications in 2015. The review committee was chaired by David Bates, with 4 external and 3 internal experts. 8 proposals were invited and 4 grants awarded.

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