Understanding the genetic basis of the immune problem - MS Research Australia

Understanding the genetic basis of the immune problem

Dr Dan Suan

Garvan Institute for Medical Research

| Causes and Prevention | Genetics | Incubator | 2018 | Investigator Led Research |


MS is a prevalent and complex disorder, the exact cause of which remains unknown. There is ample evidence from basic science and clinical medicine to show that at least part of the disease is caused by the immune system attacking the brain and spinal cord. What causes the immune system to attack itself is unclear. One possibility is that genetic mutations which arise in the immune cell causes these cells to make mistakes and target the body.

Recent scientific studies have suggested that more genetic mutations or changes happen in the cells of the human body as we live. Dr Suan will investigate whether such mutations may occur in the immune cells of people with MS, which may at least partly explain the sporadic cases of MS.

This project is going to use the latest DNA sequence technologies to look at individual immune cells of people recently diagnosed with MS, to hunt for the identity and characteristics of the "rogue" immune cells that develop in people with MS and contribute to brain lesions. It is hoped that this research will lead to better diagnostic biomarkers and targeted therapies can be identified, thereby pushing the field closer towards a cure for MS.

Updated: 15 August 2018

Updated: 02 January, 2018



  • Professor Christopher Goodnow, Garvan Institute for Medical Research
  • Dr Mandeep Singh, Garvan Institute for Medical Research

Grant Awarded

  • Incubator Grant

Total Funding

  • $25,000


  • 1 year over 2018

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