2015 MS Research Town Hall

To mark World MS Day, we held our annual MS Research Town Hall on the evening of Wednesday, May 27, 2015. This by-phone and live-streamed audio event featured prominent MS researchers, including Dr. Mark Freedman, Dr. Helen Genova and Dr. Ruth Ann Marrie, in conversation with the CBC Radio’s Bob McDonald (Quirks and Quarks).

The MS Research Town Hall offered listeners across Canada insights and information regarding the latest research being done in the area of multiple sclerosis and how it impacts the future of disease knowledge.

To listen to a recording of the 2015 MS Research Town Hall, visit https://soundcloud.com/ms-society-canada/the-2015-....

We gratefully acknowledge F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. for their support of the MS Research Town Hall through an educational grant.

Meet the researchers

Dr. Mark Freedman

University of Ottawa, Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa Hospital Research Foundation

Area of research: Progressive MS, stem cells

Learn more about Dr. Freedman

Dr. Mark Freedman is currently professor of medicine in the field of neurology at the University of Ottawa, as well as director of the Multiple Sclerosis Research Unit at the Ottawa Hospital, General Campus and a Senior Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. He has published over 250 pieces, including articles, books, book chapters and abstracts and has been invited to give hundreds of lectures and presentations nationally and internationally. His extensive research includes the area of molecular neurochemistry, cellular immunology, neuroimmunology and clinical studies in MS. He is currently holding peer reviewed and industry related funding for translational research investigating immune mechanisms of damage in multiple sclerosis, with particular interest in the role of gamma-delta T-cells. He is also the lead investigator in the Canadian Bone Marrow Transplant Study in MS and co-chair of the International Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation Study Group.

Dr. Helen Genova

Kessler Foundation Research Center

Area of research: Cognitive functioning

Learn more about Dr. Genova

Dr. Helen Genova is a research scientist in the Neuropsychology & Neuroscience Lab of the Kessler Foundation Research Center. She graduated from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Neuroscience Program in 2007. Dr. Genova’s research interests have included examining cognitive dysfunction in various clinical and neurological populations including Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). She is currently using functional magnetic resonance imaging, magnetic resonance spectroscopy and diffusion tensor imaging to examine cognitive impairments in MS and TBI, and how these impairments relate to neuronal pathology. Dr. Genova has been awarded a grant from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) to apply neuroimaging techniques to the examination of cognitive fatigue in MS, as well as a pilot grant from the NMSS to examine longitudinal changes in white matter integrity and cognitive functioning in MS.

Dr. Ruth Ann Marrie

University of Manitoba, Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg

Area of research: Epidemiology, stem cells, comorbid factors

Learn more about Dr. Marrie

Dr. Ruth Ann Marrie is a Professor of Medicine and Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba as well as the Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Clinic at Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg. Her research focuses on various aspects of the epidemiology of MS using a variety of data sources and study designs. Her research aims to understand the influence of comorbid factors, such as other chronic diseases, health behaviors and critical illness on a range of MS-related health outcomes, and to improve the health of persons suffering from MS. Other areas of research interest include etiologic factors for MS, patient-reported outcomes and pediatric MS.

Meet the moderator

Bob McDonald

Science journalist, CBC Radio host – Quirks and Quarks

Learn more about Bob McDonald

Bob McDonald has been communicating science internationally through television, radio, print and live presentations for more than 30 years. He is the host of CBC Radio’s Quirks & Quarks, the award-winning science program with a national audience of nearly 500,000 people. He is also a regular reporter for CBC Television’s The National as well as the Gemini-winning host and writer of the children’s series Head’s Up. McDonald has been honoured for his outstanding contribution to the promotion of science in Canada as the recipient of the Michael Smith Award from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Sir Sanford Fleming Medal from the Royal Canadian Institute and the McNeil Medal from The Royal Society of Canada, and was named an officer of the Order of Canada in 2011.

View the 2014 MS Research Webinar
View the 2013 MS Research Webinar