Centre for Inflammation Research

Grants awarded by the MS Society

February 2016: Dr Anne Astier receives 2 of the 16 grants awarded by the MS Society for 2015

Dr Anne Astier was awarded two grants by the MS Society. The first entitled “Establishing a zebrafish model to study brain inflammation” received £36,622. The goal of this project is to investigate the role of CD46, a protein present in some immune T cells that move into the brain and attack the protective myelin sheath covering nerve fibers, causing inflammation. CD46 is known to be involved in this process, and Anne's team hypothesized that this protein might not be properly activated in MS. They will use zebrafish as an animal model to conduct their studies in a living organism. This project is especially important because some MS therapies are based on an interaction with the CD46 molecule and the blockade of immune cell migration into the brain. A better understanding of this process might help optimize treatment, making it more specific and reducing possible side effects.

The second project, titled “Does vitamin D control the movement of immune cells?,” also led by Dr. Astier, was awarded £98,904 and will focus on how immune T cells migrate into the brain and spinal cord, and the possibility that vitamin D may be involved in controlling such processes.

This description was adapted from a more detailed press release on the grand round grant process for the MS Society which can be found by clicking here

Press coverage included an articles in the Edinburgh evening news, Herald, Daily Record and the Scotsman Newpapers