MS Research Australia

Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia, better known as MS Research Australia, is a national not-for-profit organisation that coordinates and funds multiple sclerosis research in Australia. Its research arm claims to be the top national advocacy body and largest national not-for-profit dedicated to facilitating and funding research into Multiple Sclerosis for people in Australia living with MS[1][2]


MS Research Australia was established in 2004 with Simon McKeon (2011 Australian of the Year, who was himself diagnosed with MS in 2001) as Founding Chair from its inauguration until 2010.[3] McKeon handed over to current Chair Mr Paul Murnane but remains involved as the organisation's patron. Founding CEO, Mr Jeremy Wright, handed over to current CEO, Dr Matthew Miles, in 2013. MS Research Australia was created as an MS-specific national research initiative that sought to harness the strengths of the Australian science community (including neurobiology, immunology, genetics, epidemiology, and social & applied abilities), and provide a unified collaborative approach to MS research.[4]


The organisation claims that, since its establishment in 2004, over $36.7 million has been awarded to 254 MS research projects across both Australia and New Zealand.[5]

Role in the Global MS CommunityEdit

MS Research Australia is a managing member of the International Progressive MS Alliance,[6] which focuses on progressive multiple sclerosis.[7][8]

MS Research Australia is a contributor to the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF), based in London, which has over 20 countries as members.[9]

Key AchievementsEdit

MS Research Australia claims to have played a key role in several significant breakthroughs in the scientific community's understanding of MS.[10]

MS Research Australia provides funding for the Vitamin D MS prevention trial (known as PrevANZ) to test whether Vitamin D supplementation can prevent MS in those who are at risk of developing the disease. The organisation claims this study is a world-first clinical trial[11] that had similar results to an earlier study published in Neurological Research International.[12]

The organisation supported the Australian New Zealand MS Genetics Consortium, which in 2009 discovered two of the key risk genes in MS[13] and MS Research Australia claims to have subsequently contributed to the International MS Genetics Consortium that has now discovered over 200 genes that contribute to the risk of developing MS.[14]

In 2017, research funded by the organisation discovered a possible molecular pathway (the kynurenine pathway) for MS progression, the activation of which may be involved in MS progression. This pathway has already been implicated in other neurological disorders and further study is ongoing.[15]

In the same year, Macquarie University declared that through research enabled by MS Research Australia, "one of the early and ongoing supporters of this work," the University discovered the first blood biomarker for MS. The blood test developed by Macquarie University researches can distinguish between relapsing and progressive forms of MS with 85-90% accuracy, and the University claims a clinical blood test could be available within two years.[16]

Also in 2017, MS Research Australia co-funded a three-year, $750 000 multiple sclerosis paired research fellowship, funding a senior laboratory research fellow and senior MS clinician at the University of Tasmania’s Menzies Institute for Medical Research, with the aim of furthering research into developing treatments for MS.[17]



- Australian Charity Awards’ Charity of the Year.[18]

- Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) Golden Target Awards – ‘Highly Commended’ in the Small Budget/Pro Bono category.[19]


- Fundraising Institute of Australia's ‘Most Effective Creative Campaign Award for Kiss Goodbye to MS.[20]

- Fundraising Institute of Australia’s ‘Special Events Under $5 Million’.[20]

- Australian Charity Awards’ ‘Outstanding Achievement Award’.[21]


- Telstra Business Awards, ‘Australian Charity of the Year’.[22]

- Telstra Business Awards, 'NSW Charity of the Year'.[23]

- Telstra Business Awards, 'NSW Business of the Year'.[23]

- Australian Charity Awards, ‘Outstanding Achievement Award’.[24]


MS Research Australia launched a global fundraising campaign, Kiss Goodbye to MS, in 2012.[25] The campaign, which MSIF claims is the first truly international fundraising campaign for MS,[26][27] was launched to both advance public awareness of the disease, and to raise funds for ongoing research. Since the establishment of the campaign, Kiss Goodbye to MS is now operating in over 15 different countries, and is the only global campaign dedicated solely to fundraise for MS research.[28][27]

MS Research Australia PlatformsEdit

In partnership with other key Australian organisations, MS Research Australia funds and supports a number of MS research collaborations. These platforms, often national in reach, exist to fill gaps in knowledge about specific areas and priority interest areas for people affected by MS.[29]

- MS Research Australia Brain Bank[30][31][32]

- Australian MS Longitudinal Study (AMSLS)

- PrevANZ. A clinical prevention trial into the effects of vitamin D on MS.[11][33]

- ANZgene. A collaborative Australia-New Zealand genetics study seeking to identify the genes linked with MS.[34][35]

- Autologous Haemopoetic Stem Cell Treatment (AHSCT) registry.[36]

- NSW Clinical trials and MS research network.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "What We Do". 9 May 2016.
  2. ^ "About MS Research Australia - MS Research Australia". Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Interview QA with Simon McKeon - Australian Institute of Company Directors".
  4. ^ "MS - MS Research Australia - Neuroscience Trials Australia". Neuroscience Trials Australia. Retrieved 2018-06-07.
  5. ^ "About MS Research Australia - MS Research Australia". MS Research Australia. Retrieved 2018-06-07.
  6. ^ "International Progressive MS Alliance - Members".
  7. ^ "International Progressive MS Alliance - About us".
  8. ^ Zaratin, P; Comi, G; Coetzee, T; Ramsey, K; Smith, K; Thompson, A; Panzara, M (1 October 2016). "Progressive MS Alliance Industry Forum: Maximizing Collective Impact To Enable Drug Development". Trends in Pharmacological Sciences. 37 (10): 808–810. doi:10.1016/ PMID 27554755.
  9. ^ "Our members - MS International Federation". Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  10. ^ "Impacts and achievements - MS Research Australia". Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Vitamin D MS Prevention Trial - PrevANZ - MS Research Australia". Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  12. ^ Jelinek, George (11 April 2013). "Methodology of an International Study of People with Multiple Sclerosis Recruited through Web 2.0 Platforms: Demographics, Lifestyle, and Disease Characteristics". Neurology Research International. 2013: 580596. doi:10.1155/2013/580596. PMC 3649686. PMID 23691313.
  13. ^ "Aussie and Kiwi researchers make double MS genetic discovery". Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-06-12. Retrieved 2018-06-08.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Australian Team Finds Possible Molecular Pathway for MS Progression". 9 February 2017.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-09-15. Retrieved 2018-06-08.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ Mumal, Iqra (8 September 2017). "Australian MS Experts Win Fellowship Aimed at Erasing Research Barriers".
  18. ^ "The Australian Charity Awards 2015 - Australian Charity of the Year".
  19. ^ "All The Winners From PRIA's 2015 Golden Target Awards - B&T". 27 October 2015.
  20. ^ a b "2016 Winners · Awards for Excellence · FIA - Fundraising Institute of Australia".
  21. ^ "ABA100 Australian Business Awards® - Australian Charity Awards 2016 Winners".
  22. ^ "MS Research Australia 2017 Telstra Australian Charity Award Winner - Generosity Magazine". 29 August 2017.
  23. ^ a b "Winners and Finalists".
  24. ^ "Australian Charity Awards 2017 Winners".
  25. ^ "Our Story - Kiss Goodbye to MS".
  26. ^ "Kiss Goodbye to MS - Multiple Sclerosis Society of NZ".
  27. ^ a b "Kiss Goodbye to MS launches - MS International Federation". 15 January 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  28. ^ "Kiss Goodbye to MS - Multiple Sclerosis - Countries".
  29. ^ "National Collaborations - MS Research Australia".
  30. ^ "MS Research Australia Brain Bank - ALZFORUM".
  31. ^ "Multiple Sclerosis". The University of Sydney.
  32. ^ "Home - MS Brain Bank". MS Brain Bank.
  33. ^ "Preventing the risk of MS using vitamin D in patients with a first demyelinating event in Australia and New Zealand (PrevANZ) - MS Trials". 29 August 2013.
  34. ^ "ANZGENE: The Genetics of Multiple Sclerosis - Menzies Institute for Medical Research - University of Tasmania, Australia".
  35. ^ "WikiGenes - Collaborative Publishing". WikiGenes - Collaborative Publishing.
  36. ^ "Australian MS AHSCT Registry - MS Research Australia".