Jeffrey I. Greenstein, MD
June 26, 2015
Dear Friend and Supporter,
I would like to give you an update on the research effort at MSRI, as well as some thoughts about MS which underlie the direction of research in this laboratory; and why I feel that what we are doing is really important to unearthing the cause of MS and advancing its treatment. You will find the first issue of our FIND, STOP, CURE MS newsletter enclosed. It is designed to keep you informed about MS and it will also give you an update on our research efforts at MSRI.
We have reached a stage where the laboratory is finally fully renovated and equipped with the basic equipment we need to proceed. We have also acquired a very sophisticated machine [Amicus] which allows us to safely purify the large numbers of the cells [using a procedure called lymphocytopheresis] we need for study from the bloodstream without making a subject anemic.
We have also received a research grant to study the JC virus in MS patients on Tysabri and we are now actively investigating this problem. We will be studying what might activate this virus and allow it to pass to the brain producing a very serious infection, which can complicate Tysabri treatment. While we are looking at the situation in MS in particular, what we learn here might also be helpful in other autoimmune diseases where this infection also occurs with different treatments.
As a result of the generous help of our supporters we reached the initial goal of $750,000 to make the lab functional. Our next goal is to generate $1M which is necessary to acquire additional equipment. This will allow us to continue doing state of the art science using equipment such as a fluorescence activated cell sorter and DNA sequencing equipment. Unfortunately, these are very expensive items but essential to support our mission. Additional funding will also support hiring more research staff to allow us to continue to investigate the cause of MS in particular.
I would like to request that you consider continuing your support of our mission to the extent you are able. Our commitment is to use every donation we receive to the fullest amount, to support the research mission of the MS Research Institute. You can use the enclosed envelope or donate directly on our website where a Paypal option is available [www.msresearchinstitute.org].
Please also help by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter. This will help grow our presence in the social media and increase awareness of our research mission.