Profile: Senior Scientist, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Department: Medicine, University of Ottawa
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) has been the focus of both my basic and clinical research. My basic research involves understanding central nervous system (CNS) – immune interactions that result in damage to the CNS, with particular interest in innate immune mechanisms involving gd T cells. My clinical research focuses on novel therapies to control damaging immune mechanisms in MS as well as promoting repair or regeneration. We have just completed a decade long investigation of eliminating and replacing the active immune system via intensive immunoablation and replacement with purified haematopoietic stem cells in patients with aggressive MS refractory to all known treatments. We have noted no further disease activity in these patients over a decade of surveillance, but also signs of recovery in many. Our latest endeavour is to examine the potential of autologous mesenchymal stem cells for repair of the CNS in a study (MESCAMS) which is part of an international study that I have set up with a colleague in Italy involving about 10 countries in total.