McDonald Fellowships

MSIF's McDonald Fellowships fund 2-year research placements for early career researchers from low- and middle-income countries.

Global MS research fellowships

A selection of fellowships and grants open to MS researchers around the world

Du Pré Grants

MSIF Du Pré Grants enable multiple sclerosis researchers and clinicians to undertake short placements in established MS research centres and clinics

Smoking and MS

Smoking increases your risk of developing MS – both as a smoker and through passive smoking. Learn more about the impact of smoking on MS.

In the lab with Dr. Kshiteeja Jain

In conversation with a female MS researcher for International Women’s Day

MS organisations commit to a shared global research strategy to accelerate cures for MS

Agreement seeks to coordinate resources on the highest potential research

Why is it important for people affected by MS to be actively involved in research?

New survey launched by the International Progressive MS Alliance

Applications for 2023 MSIF Fellowships and Grants now open

Deadline for MSIF's Grants and Fellowhips is 30 June 2023

2022 McDonald Fellowships and Du Pré Grant recipients announced

MSIF is proud to announce the recipients of the 2022 McDonald Fellowships and Du Pré Grants, from Mongolia, Brazil, Argentina and India.

Innovative stem cell therapy for progressive forms of MS

Results from the first clinical trial using neural stem cells to treat people with MS

Enhancing global collaboration for earlier detection and prevention of MS

Research priorities identified to help better understand the MS prodrome

What is a biomarker?

Biomarkers is a term that often comes up when we talk about MS treatment and clinical trials - but what are they and why are they important?

Let’s talk about myelin

To stop MS, we need treatments that repair damage to the protective myelin coating around nerves.

In the lab with Dr María José Ulloa Navas

Step into the lab and meet Dr María José Ulloa Navas, a talented MS researcher from Ecuador. María José spoke with MSIF about her career so far, what drives her, and how she helps people affected by MS in her home country of Ecuador.

Prevalence and severity of MS across the world – can new research explain the patterns?

Studies provide insight into the links between MS prevalence, severity, latitude and healthcare spending

Solving the mystery of progression: the key to new treatments for progressive MS

Catch up with the latest webcast on unraveling the mystery of progression and identifying new targets for treatments

Fixing an imperfect system through the voices of those with lived experience

Find out more about the Global PROMS Initiative - Patient Reported Outcomes for MS

Key topics in MS research

Thousands of scientists are undertaking research into all aspects of MS, furthering our understanding of the disease and how to prevent, treat and manage it.

An update from the MS Global Data Sharing Initiative – Thank You!

When we come together, we can find answers, quickly, to global MS challenges.

Researchers strengthen the link between Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) and the risk of developing MS

Does EBV cause MS?

Results of the MS research priority survey for Cochrane systematic reviews

The research questions identified as priority topics by over 1000 people affected by MS and healthcare professionals

2021 McDonald Fellowships and Du Pré Grant recipients announced

MSIF is proud to announce the recipients of the 2021 McDonald Fellowships and Du Pré Grants, from Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Iran, and Tunisia

Winner of the 2021 Young Investigator Award

Dr Giacomo Boffa receives the 2021 Young Investigator Award on his project on using aHSCT in individuals with secondary progressive MS

How do people with MS respond to COVID-19 vaccines?

What does research tell us about how DMTs affect the body’s immune response to COVID-19 vaccines?

Can exercise reduce disease progression in MS?

Resistance exercise increases the thickness of the brain cortex in some people with MS

Diagnosis: making it early and getting it right

Diagnosis of MS is getting faster and more efficient but new research suggests there are still ways to improve diagnosis

Professor Alan Thompson wins the prestigious MS Charcot Award

Professor Thompson wins the 2021 lifetime achievement award for outstanding research into the understanding and treatment of MS

Answering questions on progressive MS treatment and research

Watch the International Progressive MS Alliance webcast

MS and depression – testing the relationship

This article delves into the land of genetics, explaining the method called ‘Mendelian randomisation’, which scientists use to learn about links between genes and disease.

Clinical research and trials

Research and clinical trials are taking place around the world, trying to find and improve treatments for MS

2020 McDonald Fellowships and Du Pré Grant recipients announced

MSIF is proud to announce the recipients of the 2020 McDonald Fellowships and Du Pré Grants, from Iran, Zambia, Brazil, Turkey, and Argentina

Winner of the 2020 Young Investigator Award

Helen Onuorah receives the 2020 Young Investigator Award on her project "Racial inequalities in MS research participation"

Super-charging mitochondria – a potential pathway to treat progressive MS

New research funded by the International Progressive MS Alliance looks at ways that nerve fibres protect themselves from damage.

Stichting MS Research celebrates its 40th anniversary

Stichting MS celebrates 40 years of MS research with a campaign on resilience. The Dutch MS organisation has partnered with local researchers and the UK MS Society to put their work in the spotlight.

We’re hiring! PROMS Initiative Program Manager

The Global Patient Reported Outcomes for MS Initiative is looking for an International Program Manager with great organizational, communication, and negotiation skills.

MS research awards: deadline extended to 31 August

Cykelnerven 2019

Each year, seasoned riders from around the world take on over 400km of the toughest climbs from the Tour De France just weeks before the official race. It's the ride that every cyclist dreams of, but only the toughest can complete.

New map changes understanding of immune cells in the brain

A new international study has mapped a type of immune cell, the microglia, in the human and mouse brain for the first time. Microglia are thought to play a role in the progression of MS. This research has changed the understanding of how these cells function, and has important implications for MS.

Early intensive treatment gives better outcomes

New study shows that early use of high efficacy treatment for MS improves long term disability outcomes, rather than starting on a moderately effective therapy and escalating to a stronger medication.

Food allergies may be linked to more MS relapses

In a recent study, scientists have shown that people with MS who have food allergies are more likely to experience clinical attacks and lesions in the brain than those without allergies or with other allergies that are unrelated to food.

The next Atlas of MS is underway

MSIF’s Atlas of MS with new data on the number of people living with MS across the world, and the challenges they face.

Stem cell trial results published

A trial has compared a cancer chemotherapy to MS treatments, but further research is needed to understand how effective the treatment is in comparison to other MS treatments.

Screening environmental chemicals that may influence MS

976 chemicals were screened to assess their impact on MS.

Advances in research increase rate of MS treatment changes

Studies show that improved MS medications and advances in MRI technology have led to an increased rate of doctors changing courses of MS treatment and a reduced tolerance of any sign of disease activity, with doctors more readily switching treatments in cases of low disease activity.

Winner of 2018 Young Investigators Award announced

MSIF is pleased to announce the winner of this year’s Young Investigators Award: Dr Silke Häusser-Kinzel.

2018 McDonald Fellowship and Du Pré grant recipients announced

MSIF is proud to announce the recipients of the 2018 McDonald fellowships and Du Pre grants

Dutch MS Research Foundation part of EUR 15 million research project

The ‘Immune balance’ partnership unites health charities, the government, scientists and corporate bodies in a joint effort to improve understanding of the immune system in chronic immune diseases like MS.

ARSEP awards 1.6m EUR to MS research proposals

The Scientific Committee of the French MS Research Support Foundation (ARSEP) has selected recipients for its annual research grants and fellowships.

MS Ireland launches exciting new research report

MS Ireland took World MS Day as an opportunity to launch a pioneering research report, designed to help Ireland become a world leader in MS research.

Bringing Us Closer: World MS Day 2018

World MS Day will take place on 30 May. The 2018 campaign is called Bringing Us Closer and the theme is Research.

Sun exposure can alter risk and disease course in early MS 

New research shows that sun exposure over a lifetime can change the course of MS.

Applications for MSIF Fellowships and Grants now open

The deadline for applications for McDonald fellowships and Du Pré Grants is 30 June 2018

World MS Day 2018 toolkit and events map launched

Tools for the #bringinguscloser campaign for World MS Day 2018 are now available to download.

Argentina presents awards to MS researchers

The Association for the Fight Against MS (ALCEM) presents the Miguel Pablo Gallardo award and the Proyecto Investigación (Research Project) award.

First treatment for early primary progressive MS approved in Europe

The European Commission has approved the first disease-modifying therapy, ocrelizumab, for early primary progressive MS (PPMS).

2017 McDonald Fellowship and Du Pré grant recipients announced

MSIF is proud to announce the recipients of the 2017 McDonald fellowships and Du Pre grants

Inflammation and anxiety: how are they linked?

Chemistry of brain inflammation linked to mood changes in MS

Professor Per Soelberg Sørensen wins prestigious Charcot award for research in multiple sclerosis

Prof. Sørensen, one of the world’s prominent clinical neurologists in multiple sclerosis, recognised for lifetime achievement in improving understanding and treatment of MS.

Alliance holds pivotal London meeting

A meeting of minds took place at the recent International Progressive MS Alliance event in London

Do anti-inflammatory drugs delay disability in secondary progressive MS? 

A new study recently published uses ‘real-world’ data to investigate the effects of disease modifying therapies on secondary progressive MS

Alternative therapies: more evidence needed

A review shows complementary therapies are yet to be proven for MS

New award for global MS researchers

MSIF and the Dutch MS Research Foundation launch Global MS Research Booster Award for researchers studying the cause of MS

Vacancy: Head of Research and Access

An exciting opportunity to lead the search for improved understanding and treatments for MS and better access to treatments and healthcare

Celebrating the role of new technologies in transforming the lives of people affected by MS

Matthew Miles, Chief Executive of MS Research Australia, shared insights on how technology is revolutionising research, treatment, diagnosis, and more

Physician-assisted death in multiple sclerosis

Survey results show a high hypothetical interest in physician-assisted death in people with MS

Latest MS research highlighted at French conference

French MS organisation ARSEP celebrates 26th annual conference

Long-term outcomes after HSCT for MS

International study looks at long-term progression in people with MS following stem cell therapy

Influence of ethnicity on disease progression

North African ethnicity is found to be a significant predictor of fast progression

Regulatory T Cells promote remyelination

Researchers uncover a molecule that promotes regeneration of myelin

MS Ireland takes action

MS Ireland launches two major new publications on early treatment and diagnosis of MS

Applications for MSIF fellowships and grants now open

The deadline for applications for McDonald fellowships and Du Pré Grants is 30 June 2017

First treatment licensed for primary progressive MS in the US

Ocrelizumab has been approved as a treatment for both relapsing and primary progressive MS in the US

Neurofilament is related to disability and brain shrinkage in MS

Study suggests neurofilament levels may be used as a marker of damage to brain cells in MS

No link between oral contraceptive drugs and MS relapses

Use of oral hormonal contraceptive drugs does not appear to be associated with greater risk of relapses

CCSVI: Latest findings show no association to multiple sclerosis

The latest and most thorough studies do not show an association between CCSVI and MS

Long-term safety and effectiveness of fampridine

Researchers find fampridine safe and effective in the long term for improving walking speed

Lifestyle risk factors in the progression of multiple sclerosis

Low vitamin D levels and smoking consistently associated with MS progression

Cognitive impairment and sodium concentration in gray matter

Advanced MRI shows sodium concentration in gray matter better explains cognition than atrophy in MS

Early treatment benefits individuals with a first attack resembling MS

People diagnosed with CIS who received early treatment are less likely to convert to MS

A simple specialised eye examination can show the effect of MS drugs

Optical coherence tomography may be used to test the effect of drugs in relapsing-remitting MS trials

Early evidence of multiple sclerosis in high risk family members

Some family members of people with MS show possible early signs of the disease without symptoms

Biomarker for predicting MS risk after clinically isolated syndrome

A biomarker in cerebrospinal fluid is associated with a higher risk of MS in people with CIS

Research highlights of 2016

Professor Alan Thompson highlights some of 2016’s research discoveries in MS

Neonatal vitamin D and the risk of MS

Further evidence shows the role of vitamin D in MS risk, especially during pregnancy

Recruitment complete for new progressive MS drug trial

250 people with progressive MS are taking part in the SPRINT-MS trial for ibudilast

No link between NR1H3 p.Arg415Gln and multiple sclerosis risk

A new study fails to replicate the role of a gene in developing primary progressive MS

Rituximab in multiple sclerosis

A retrospective study of rituximab use in MS shows evidence for its safety and effectiveness

Social cognition in multiple sclerosis

People with MS display increased deficiencies in social cognition

Geographical latitude and the onset of MS

People from countries with higher latitudes are found to have an earlier onset of MS

Further evidence for effectiveness of alemtuzumab

Study shows alemtuzumab can improve pre-existing disability in relapsing-remitting MS

Misdiagnosis of MS

Study identifies that migraine and fibromyalgia are frequently misdiagnosed as MS

Can specialised eye assessments monitor MS activity and attacks?

Researchers assess whether changes in the retina can be used as a marker of MS activity

Stem cell treatment in the news

Autologous Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (AHSCT) is being investigated as a treatment for MS

Alemtuzumab vs interferon in relapsing remitting MS

Study shows that alemtuzumab is more effective than interferon in reducing disease activity in relapsing remitting MS

Hormone replacement therapy could improve physical quality of life for women with MS

Researchers note a relationship between HRT and quality of life in women with MS after menopause

A new fingolimod-like drug is safe in people with relapsing-remitting MS

A phase II trial shows safety and efficacy of amiselimod

What happened at ECTRIMS 2016?

Researchers and health professionals gather for the latest updates and research findings on treatment, care and management of MS

Rebound syndrome after stopping fingolimod

Researchers find that suddenly stopping fingolimod may lead to severe worsening of symptoms in MS

Predicting long-term disability in MS

Australian researchers aim to predict future worsening of disability in people with relapse-onset MS

Stem cell treatment halts MS progression

Rebooting immune system provides long term relief for aggressive relapsing MS in Canadian study

Mitoxantrone and risk of cancer in MS

German study asks whether recipients of mitoxantrone are more likely than the general population to develop cancers

A new gene target for progressive MS

A mutation in a gene called NR1H3 could increase the risk of progressive MS

The role of gut microbes in multiple sclerosis

Researchers find a link between MS and microbes living in the gut

Consecutive pregnancies in MS

Research shows no difference in disease activity in successive pregnancies

2016 McDonald Fellowships and Du Pré Grantees announced

We are pleased to announce the recipients of our 2016 McDonald Fellowships and Du Pré grants

What happened at ECTRIMS 2015?

Our highlights from the world’s largest scientific conference on multiple sclerosis

Long-term evolution of MS disability in the treatment era

MRI is not a predictor of long term MS outcomes

Long-term effects of early treatment in people with MS

Early treatment of clinically isolated syndrome shows beneficial effects for relapse rate and cognitive functioning

Are brain lesions related to sexual dysfunction in women with MS?

Researchers investigate a link between brain lesions and severity of sexual issues in women with MS

Safety and efficacy of siponimod for relapsing-remitting MS

Siponimod study shows reduced MS activity and low relapse rates with no new safety concerns

The effect of salt intake on MS relapses in children

Research in the USA finds no link between salt intake and time to relapse in children with MS

Does season of birth contribute to the risk of developing MS in the UK?

Researchers find that birth month affects the risk of MS in the UK

Effects of an immune system gene on MS subtypes and MRI

HLA alleles are found to be associated with brain atrophy and a younger age of MS onset in women

Use of metabolic syndrome drugs in multiple sclerosis

Drugs used for metabolic syndrome may reduce MS activity in people with MS and obesity

Bigger brains can protect against physical disability

Research suggests that higher brain growth is linked to lower risk for disability progression in people with MS

A specialized eye test can predict disease progression in MS

Retinal thickness can be used as a measure to predict worsening disability in MS

Effectiveness of memory rehabilitation in people with MS

Review shows previous measures of memory rehabilitation were not reflective of daily life

Sex-specific differences in comorbid conditions in MS

Researchers find men with MS experience more chronic health problems at the time of diagnosis

Could gut microbes play a role in MS?

Microbes in the body’s gastrointestinal system appear to change how myelin genes are expressed in the brain

Alternative to natalizumab in people at risk of a brain infection

Swedish study favours rituximab over fingolimod for those at risk of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy

Does ethnicity play a role in neuromyelitis optica (NMO)?

The role of genes in NMO appears to vary depending on a person’s ethnicity

Coffee consumption and risk of multiple sclerosis

Research suggests that high consumption of coffee may protect brain cells from damage

Natalizumab is more effective than fingolimod in reducing relapses

French researchers compare oral and injectable drugs for relapsing-remitting MS

New drug ozanimod could be an effective alternative to fingolimod

An international study looks at the safety and efficacy of a drug similar to fingolimod

Obesity and MS

How common is obesity in people with MS and is it related to disability?

Epilepsy drug could protect nerves from damage in MS

A drug currently used to treat epilepsy could be used to protect cells in the optic nerve for people with all types of MS

Intrathecal Rituximab is not effective in progressive multiple sclerosis

A recent study has failed to show any benefit for Rituximab in people with secondary progressive MS

Fingolimod is not effective in primary progressive multiple sclerosis

A new trial has failed to show Fingolimod has any effect of in primary-progressive MS

Investigating cognition to fully assess MS progression

Study recommends including cognitive evaluation when measuring NEDA

Home-based exercises could reduce risk of falls in MS

Step training is shown to be effective in improving stepping, standing balance, and coordination

Hormonal treatment improves MS relapses in women

Hormones released during pregnancy could be a potential treatment for relapsing remitting MS

Vitamin D and early onset of MS

Genes, lifestyle, and environment in adolescence could be important factors in the development of MS

Radiologically isolated syndrome (RIS) and primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS)

People with RIS evolve to PPMS at the same frequency as expected from general MS populations

Sexual dysfunction is common in MS

Sexual dysfunction is a common but often overlooked and undertreated symptom in MS

Oral steroids as good as intravenous in treating relapses

New data supports the use of oral steroid methylprednisolone to treat MS relapses

Controversial results from a new vitamin D study

New research shows no association between increasing blood vitamin D levels and reduced inflammation in relapsing-remitting MS

23 answers on predicting disease progression and MRI

MS researcher Arman Eshaghi answers questions from around the world

Results from a long-term observational study on MS

Long-term follow-up studies could help determine predictive factors for long-term clinical outcomes

Improving clinical trial designs in MS

Study suggests that longer observation time is necessary for more reliable results

New drug tested for relapsing-remitting MS

Results show daclizumab to be effective in reducing relapse rate and new lesions in relapsing-remitting MS

Recommended treatment after stopping natalizumab

Switching from natalizumab to an alternative drug may prevent disease reactivation

Your chance to ask a young researcher about his work

Arman Eshaghi will answer your questions

Cast your vote

Which of these MS research areas would you like to hear more about?

Interview with Mauricio Farez

We spoke to an Argentinian researcher studying the correlation between melatonin and MS

Cast your vote

Which of these MS research areas would you like to hear more about?

New target for understanding secondary progressive MS

Chemical in the brain involved in signaling may play a role in progressive MS

Fingolimod safety and efficacy confirmed

The results of a seven-year follow-up study confirm the safety and efficacy of fingolimod

Exclusive breastfeeding is safe following childbirth

A German study shows that exclusive breastfeeding does not increase the risk of relapse after childbirth

MSIF and ECTRIMS hold first joint alumni event

Current and past fellows of MSIF and ECTRIMS come together in Barcelona to share experiences

Can Melatonin improve MS?

Study suggests that melatonin could be a possible cause of seasonal changes in MS disease activity

Highlights from the ‘Living with MS Day’

On 6 October, 650 people affected by MS gathered in Barcelona for the ‘Living with MS Day’ event

Positive results for people with primary progressive MS

The results from a phase III clinical trial of Ocrelizumab in primary progressive MS are announced at ECTRIMS

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) as a possible biomarker in MS

A recent study suggests OCT could be used as an indicator of neuronal damage in MS

Further evidence for a brain region involved in fatigue in MS

Research shows that certain brain structures involved in effort-reward functions play a role in fatigue in MS

Improving walking with nabiximols: new findings

A study to assess whether nabiximols could be used to improve walking in people with MS

Delaying the development of secondary progressive MS

Recovery from early relapses can potentially delay or prevent onset of progressive MS

Characteristics of primary progressive MS

Researchers in Canada have investigated the natural history of 500 people with primary progressive MS

Predictive factors for developing MS

Identifying risk factors for developing further attacks and disability accumulation in patients with “clinically isolated syndrome"

Biomarkers of inflammation in progressive MS

There is a need to identify direct biomarkers of inflammation within the central nervous system

Official launch of the New Zealand Multiple Sclerosis Research Trust

A trust has launched in New Zealand to fund research to improve the lives of people with MS

A non-invasive method to identify MS progression

Researchers are looking for new biomarkers of disease, which could also recognise progression of MS in a reasonable time

Early identification of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy in patients on natalizumab

A method for early detection of Natalizumab-associated progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy in the absence of clinical symptoms

Hematopoietic stem cells and MS

The results of a multi-centre, phase II, randomized trial

New treatment for spasticity and pain

Radial shock wave therapy has been used to treat spasticity and pain in Italy

Spinal cord is affected early in primary progressive MS

Study suggests that early spinal neurodegeneration may underlie clinical impairment

Smoking worsens MS

Evidence shows that smoking increases the risk of developing MS and accelerates disease progression