MSA Trust

Research Update – From our CEO, Karen Walker

We certainly live in challenging times and here at the MSA Trust, naturally, our focus must be on the people we serve in the community as we all come to terms with the impact COVID19 can and does make on our lives.

It is important however, to remind ourselves that this time will pass and we will move into a more normal working life. It may not be quite the same life, but at the MSA Trust we want to be ready to respond in the best way possible. Part of that response is to pick up our research baton again and ensure that we are funding the best research we can.

Our Trustee Board met in early March, amidst lots of uncertainty about our daily lives, however a key item on their agenda was to hear the recommendations from the Scientific Advisory Panel for future research projects. The Board approved funding totalling £600,000 for 4 projects that will last between 1- and 3-years in duration.

We look forward to giving you a full breakdown of each project in our next MSA News magazine (due out in June 2020). This funding is drawn from our Research and Reserves Investment fund, which holds the legacies and gifts in wills left to us by our very generous supporters for the purpose of furthering our understanding of MSA.

I have been in touch with all our researchers about their projects asking about any revisions to their initial timetables. Initially we expected projects would begin in the new academic year, September 2020, but of course nothing is quite normal at present. So, it is great to hear that the researchers think they will only have a small delay to January 2021 until the projects can get underway.

Further to this research, we will continue to fund the MSA Prospect study, which many of you have been involved in. We are also pleased to hear that our Research Fellow, Viorica Chelban, who is currently on maternity leave, will be returning to her post to complete her studies into biomarkers for MSA later in the year and will embark on one of the new projects awarded funding in this recent grant round.

So, as you can see there is plenty happening in the research field at present and we are certainly looking forward to keeping you updated as the new research gets underway in early 2021.

While we might be feeling a bit frustrated and fed up with our current daily lives, the team at the MSA Trust are working as hard as possible to make sure we can kick start the research again the very minute we get the go ahead.

Karen Walker

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the blogs published on these pages are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the MSA Trust.

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