JHU gets research grant as part of global MS study

The Johns Hopkins Multiple Sclerosis Center is the recipient of one of 22 research grants offered to investigators in nine countries by the International Progressive MS Alliance, a worldwide collaborative focused on finding solutions to progressive forms of multiple sclerosis.

The recipients of the grants in the first round of such funding were announced at a meeting of MS scientists in Boston. Accepting the award for Johns Hopkins was Peter Calabresi, director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center.

The funding launches an ambitious program that will invest nearly $30 million over the next five years in finding treatments and solutions for progressive MS. It also will forge international collaborative research networks, which will leverage research already underway and stimulate new research through the alliance's significant funding programs. For this initial short-term offering, 195 proposals were received from 22 countries. 

"The Johns Hopkins Multiple Sclerosis Center is very excited about receiving this award from the Progressive Alliance, and we are looking forward to initiating this novel clinical trial in progressive MS," Calabresi says. The center will receive $90,000 now but could receive more from another round of funding if the pilot is successful.

Cynthia Zagieboylo, chair of the MS Alliance's executive committee and president and CEO of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, says, "The research community's response to our first call for innovative research proposals has been exceptional, and it speaks to both the unmet need and the galvanizing force of this international initiative. For the first time," she says, "MS societies around the globe are funding research together without considering geography to find the answers the progressive MS community urgently needs."