Marjan Gharagozloo, PhD: The Future of Multiple Sclerosis Research


The immunology expert from the University of Sherbrooke shared her insight about where she sees the future of MS research headed, and the need to focus attention on the body’s innate immune response.

“It’s the future in MS research and something we have to emphasize—innate immune response is also really important. It’s not only the driver of the adaptive immune response, but it’s the only immune response located in the CNS.”

Marjan Gharagozloo, PhD, and colleagues are working to address the immune and inflammatory aspects of multiple sclerosis (MS), as central nervous system inflammation is a well-known driver of early phases of the disease, in addition to maintaining a presence in the later phases. Although many of the therapies used in the treatment of MS target periphery immune response, the scientist from the University of Sherbrooke’s Department of Immunology expects that the future lies in the targeting of the innate immune response.

She and her colleagues have been exploring the central nervous system (CNS) cell expression of anti-inflammatory molecules as a therapeutic target. They’ve been working with mouse models of MS and spontaneous experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and evaluating what effect Nlrx1—a mitochondrial innate immune sensor that is universally expressed and NF-κB inhibiting—can have on CNS inflammation.

To find out more about what their work has led Gharagozloo to hypothesize and to have her share her insight about where she sees the future of MS research headed, NeurologyLive® spoke with her on the floor at the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) 2019 Forum in Dallas, Texas.


Gharagozloo M, Mahmoud S, Simard C, et al. The Mitochondrial Innate Immune Sensor, NLRX1, Inhibits Early Stages of CNS Inflammation and Prevents the Onset of Progressive EAE. Presented at: ACTRIMS Forum; February 28 to March 2, 2019; Dallas, TX. Abstract #3442. Accessed March 28, 2019.

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