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Progress in MS Research Conference

11 - 13 October 2017


The Progress in MS Research Conference hosted by MS Research Australia is a biennial event held to bring Australian clinicians and medical researchers together, to present their latest findings and form research collaborations.

The purpose of the Progress in MS Research Conference is to:

  • Stimulate innovative research into the causes, prevention, improved treatments and ultimately a cure for multiple sclerosis (MS).
  • Promote the exchange of scientific thought and investigation among neurologists, scientists, biologists, social and allied health researchers and other qualified individuals interested in advancing the field of multiple sclerosis research.
  • Encourage and support collaboration among national and international researchers.

The key themes of the conference include:

  • Progressive MS
  • B-Cell Biology
  • Autologous Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (AHSCT)
  • Cognition

Abstract submissions

Abstracts are welcome from all fields of MS research and are to be submitted only electronically using the online form until 31st July 2017.

A selected number of abstracts will be accepted for oral presentation based on scientific merit and relevance to the conference key themes. You will be notified as to whether you will be invited to present either an oral presentation or poster presentation in early September.

Poster presentations

The poster presentations are druing the afternoon tea on Thursday 12th October and morning tea on Friday 13th October.  Please ensure you are standing by your poster for the poster viewing sessions.

The poster guidelines can be found here.

Dr Jack Antel (Progressive MS)

McGill University, Canada

The Biology of Progressive Multiple Sclerosis: What can be protected or repaired?


Professor Jan D. Lünemann (B-Cell Biology)

University of Zurich, Switzerland

B Cell Depletion in MS - Mechanisms and Clinical Efficacy


Professor Stuart Tangye (B-Cell Biology)

Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Australia


Dr Riccardo Saccardi (Autologous Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant)

Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Careggi, Italy



Time Mins Speaker Title
8am Registration
8.30am 15 Opening Address
HSCT - Session Chair John Moore
8.45 45 Riccardo Saccardi (int keynote)  AHSCT
9.3 25 Belinda Bardsley (keynote) Hope vs Hype: Challenging Conversations about Stem Cells
9.55 15 Jennifer Massey Autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation in MS
10.1 15 Carole Ford Identification of the immune phenotypes associated with haematopoietic stem cell transplantation for MS
10.25-10.55 30 Morning Tea
B Cells
10.55 45 Jan Lunemann (int keynote) B Cell Depletion in MS - Mechanisms and Clinical Efficacy
11.4 25 Stuart Tangye (keynote) B-Cells
12.05 15 Rod Lea Epigenome-wide association study of CD19+ B Cells in MS patients reveals distinct methylation profiles compared to T cells
12.2 15 Felix Marsh-Wakefield Identifying human regulatory B cells activated by IL-4-treated mast cells or their microvesicles by mass cytometry
Immunology - Session Chair David Booth
12.35 10 Fiona McKay Clinical implications of IL7R genotype: from disease risk to disease management
12.45 10 Grant Parnell Using genetics to investigate the involvement of myeloid cells and the vitamin D pathway in the pathogenesis of MS
12.55 10 Saeideh Ebrahimkhani Exosomal microRNA signatures in multiple sclerosis reflect disease status
1.05 10 Sheila Donnelly Using a parasite derived peptide to prevent immune-mediated demyelination
1.15 10 David Brown Macrophage Inhibitory Cytokine-1 (MIC-1/GDF15), a novel treatment for MS
1.25-2.25 60 Lunch
Progressive MS - Session Chair Ingrid van der Mei
2.25 45 Jack Antel (int keynote) The Biology of Progressive Multiple Sclerosis: What can be protected or repaired?
3.1 25 Ingrid van der Mei and Yan Zhang (keynote) Progressive MS
3.35 15 Thomas Kalincik Treating progressive multiple sclerosis
3.5 15 Gustavo Noffs Objective analysis of speech correlates with disease severity in Multiple Sclerosis and differentiates groups with and without upper limb tremor.
4.05 15 Frederique Boonstra Pathophysiology of MS tremor: an fMRI study
4.2 15 Justin Rubio Using single cell whole genome sequencing to understand the pathogenesis of progressive MS
4.35-5.05 30 Afternoon Tea
Repair and Regeneration
5.05 10 Kaylene Young Protocadherin signalling and store operated calcium entry are key regulators of the oligodendrocyte progenitor cell cytoskeleton
5.15 10 Carlie Cullen Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Drives Oligodendrocyte Addition in the Healthy Brain
5.25 10 Jessica Fletcher TDP6, a structural mimetic of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), enhances remyelination in the brain
5.35 10 Steven Petratos Nogo receptor 1 (NgR1) deletion in axons halts axonopathy and demyelination during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE)
5.45 Finish
Time Mins Speaker Title
Cognition - Session Chair David Darby
8.3 45 Dawn Langdon (int keynote) Cognition
9.15 25 Anneke van der Walt (keynote) Cognition
9.4 15 Jameen Arm Are inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitter levels in the posterior cingulate cortex associated with MS fatigue?
9.55 15 Daniel Merlo Acceptability and concurrent validity of the MSReactor cognitive assessment in people with multiple sclerosis.
10.1 15 Sanuji Gajamange Inter-subject variation in intrinsic connectivity of the ocular motor network in patients with clinically isolated syndrome
10.25 15 Karen Ribbons Cognitive function screening tools in MS: Performance comparison of patients using the Audio Recorded Cognitive screen (ARCS) and the Brief International Cognitive Assessment for Multiple Sclerosis.
10.40-11.10 30 Morning Tea
Clinical Epidemiology - Session Chair Helmut Butzkueven
11.1 15 Sudarshini Ramanathan The clinical course, therapeutic responses, and outcomes in relapsing MOG antibody-associated demyelination
11.25 15 Vilija Jokubaitis Pregnancy incidence, therapy exposure and post-partum relapse risk: a 12-year retrospective multicentre analysis
11.4 15 Georgia Chaseling Cold fluid ingestion prolongs time to exhaustion in people with multiple sclerosis exercising in the heat
Modifiable lifestyle and clinical outcomes
11.55 15 Ingrid van der Mei Modifiable lifestyle factors at baseline could not influence the clinical course of multiple sclerosis
12.1 15 Prue Hart Narrowband UVB phototherapy for Clinically Isolated Syndrome: Delivering the benefits of all UVB-induced molecules to early MS patients
12.25 15 Fiona E Lithander A pro-inflammatory diet is associated with increased risk of a first clinical diagnosis of central nervous system demyelination in women
12.4 15 Lucinda J Black No association between antioxidant intake and risk of a first clinical diagnosis of central nervous system demyelination
12.55-1.55 60 Lunch
Health Economics
2.1 15 Jing Chen Patient-reported effects of disease-modifying therapies on employment outcomes in people with multiple sclerosis
2.25 15 Jing Chen Estimating MS-related work productivity loss and factors associated with labour force participation in a representative Australian sample of people with multiple sclerosis
2.40-3.10 30 Afternoon Tea
3.1 15 Vilija Jokubaitis Genotype-phenotype correlations in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: preliminary results from a multinational study
3.25 15 Grant Parnell Investigating the shared genetic risk factors for the autoimmune diseases Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus and Multiple Sclerosis.
3.4 15 Chris Dwyer The Role of MERTK in Multiple Sclerosis
3.55 25 Award ceremony and conference summary
4.3 Conference close

MS Research Australia has secured competitive accommodation rates at several hotels close to the conference venue. To secure the special conference rates please follow the below instructions.

Mantra 2 Bond Street
Cnr George Street & Bond Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
Ph: 13 15 17
Email: 2bondst.res@mantra.com.au
Discount: To book and receive 10% off the Mantra Daily Rate, visit: www.mantrahotels.com use promo code MSResearchAustralia17
*This rate is only valid between 11-13 October when booked before 11/9/17.

Hyatt Regency Sydney
161 Sussex Street, Darling Harbour, Sydney, NSW 200
Ph: 02 8099 1234
Email: sydney.regency@hyatt.com
Discount: City View King $375 per night. To obtain this rate you must book through the official registration link here
*This rate is only valid between 11-13 October when booked before 11/9/17.

Travelodge Hotel Sydney Wynyard
7-9 York Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
Ph: 1300 886 886
Email: wynyard@travelodge.com.au
Discount: To book and receive 10% off the best daily rate, contact Travelodge directly and mention MS Research Australia.
*This rate is only valid between 11-14 October, rates are dynamic and subject to availability.

The International Towers in Barangaroo are a short 7 minute walk (600m) from Wynyard Station.
Alternatively, please find the following parking options in close proximity to the venue:

Wilson Parking Clarence St
55 Clarence Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000 (Entry via Kent St)
Contact number: 1800 PARKING
Open: 24 hours/ 7 days a week
Early bird: (Entry between 6am and 9:30am, exit between 3:30pm and 7pm) - $30.00

Wilson Parking Kent St
8-20 Napoleon Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000 (Entry via Napoleon St)
Contact number: 1800 PARKING
Open: 24 hours/ 7 days a week
Early bird: (Entry between 6:30am and 9:30am, exit between 3pm and 7pm) - $38.00

King Street Wharf Car Park
1 Shelley Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000 (Entry via Shelley St)
Contact number: 1300 727 483
Open: 6am-12am
Secure-a-Spot Rate: (Entry between 7am and 9:30am, exit between 4pm and 7pm) - $45.00

ADC House Car Park
189 Kent Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000 (Entry via Kent St)
Contact number: 1300 727 483
Open: 7am-7pm
Early bird: (Entry between 7am and 10am, exit between 3:30pm and 7pm) – $35.00

Welcome Drinks

Date: 11 October 2017

Time: 6-8pm

Venue: Level 13 Tower Three International Towers, Barangaroo, Sydney

Conference Dinner

Date: 12 October 2017

Time: 7-10pm

Venue: Banksii, 33 Barangaroo Ave Barangaroo South, Sydney

Event Details

11 October 2017 @ 6:00 pm
13 October 2017 @ 5:30 pm
$113 - $475


Samantha Rosenfels – Development and Events Coordinator
1300 356 467


Harbourside Rooms, Lendlease, Level 13, Tower Three, International Towers Exchange Place
300 Barangaroo Avenue
Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia
+ Google Map

Who's Attending

78 people are attending Progress in MS Research Conference 2017

  • Elizabeth McDonald
  • Neil Woodhams
  • Scott Byrne
  • Robyn Lucas
  • Felix Marsh-Wakefield
  • Benita Tse
  • Phu Hoang
  • Judith Greer
  • Dan Kho
  • Andrea Salmon
  • Kim Farrugia
  • Prue Hart
  • Anderson Jones
  • Sue Shapland
  • Andrea Salmon
  • Karen Ribbons
  • Stephen Schibeci
  • Christine Pitt
  • Sue Egan
  • Jane Richards
  • James Wiley
  • Lindsay Vowels
  • Anne Bruestle
  • Jessica Fletcher
  • Leigh Newton
  • Rodney Lea
  • Michael Lovelace
  • Mika Shimada
  • Jennifer Massey
  • Tonia Woodberry
  • Sheila Donnelly
  • Grant Parnell
  • Alicia Wilson
  • Ollie Jay
  • Nicole Fewings
  • Michele Binder
  • David Brown
  • Andrew Palmer
  • Jessica Morris
  • Kira Groen
  • Naomi Koh Belic
  • Gayle Lea
  • Margaret Jordan
  • Richard Bergman
  • Linda Anslow
  • Chris Dwyer
  • David Booth
  • Andrew Lam
  • Annette Carruthers
  • Justin Rubio
  • ON C Chiu
  • Vilija Manners
  • Emily O'Kearney
  • Tomas Kalincik
  • Paul Ilett
  • Jane Richards
  • gustavo noffs
  • Tobias Merson
  • Min Kim
  • Robert Lasser
  • Lawrence Ong
  • Alice Saul
  • Mary-Ann Bonney
  • Mark Slee
  • David Kennedy
  • Load all attendees


MS State Societies Staff$225.00Includes welcome drinks and conference days only.

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Conference Dinner Ticket$150.00(for extras).

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Half Conference Day$125.00Excludes welcome drinks & conference dinner.

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Single Conference Day$240.00Excludes welcome drinks & conference dinner.

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Student Conference Package$225.00Includes welcome drinks and conference dinner.

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Full Conference Package$475.00Including welcome drinks and conference dinner.

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