Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, heterogeneous, autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS), affecting more than 400,000 people in the US and 2.5 million people globally. Two subtypes, Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS) and Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS), represent the disease absent progression, while Primary Progressive (PPMS) and Secondary Progressive (SPMS) represent patients with progressive disease from the start or after RRMS, respectively. Neuroinflammation leading to multifocal lesion formation, demyelination, axonal damage and consequent neurodegeneration are hallmarks of the disease. Morbidity is high with 80% of patients developing severe disability, and life expectancy reduced by 10 years. While current treatments can lessen the severity of symptoms or slow disease progressions, there is no cure, and many patients (especially in progressive forms of the disease) remain refractory to the standard of care.
Melissa and Paul Anderson President’s Distinguished Professor
University of Pennsylvania
Amit Bar-Or, MD, FRCPC, FAAN, FANA is the Director of the Center for Neuroinflammation and Experimental Therapeutics, Chief of the Multiple Sclerosis Division at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine (Philadelphia, USA) and President of the International Society of Neuroimmunology. Dr. Bar-Or trained at McGill Medical School in Montreal, the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard Center for Neurological Diseases. His research interests include the role of functionally distinct immune cell subsets in autoimmune disease, and the contribution of immune-glial and immune-neural interactions to injury and repair in the central nervous system. His clinical work is centered on multiple sclerosis and related conditions, in both children and adults.
Director and Chief Research Scientist
Tisch MS Research Center of NY
Dr. Saud Sadiq is the director of the Tisch MS Research Center of New York. A native of Kenya, is a board-certified neurologist who completed medical school at the University of Nairobi and residency training in Internal Medicine in Kenya and in England His research interests are focused on MS and include investigating the intrathecal oligoclonal B-cell response; exploring the mechanisms of disease progression, biomarker development, and applying stem cell biology to clinical use. Clinically, Dr. Sadiq is an internationally acknowledged expert in MS, receiving numerous awards for his research and clinical activities. He has been an invited guest speaker nationally and internationally at numerous conferences and has more than 100 publications. He is among a select few MS specialists who has a full time clinical practice and is able to combine it with directing a productive laboratory-based research program.
Assistant Research Scientist
Tisch MS Research Center of NY
Dr. Wong joined the Tisch MSRCNY research laboratory in May 2015, after completing her postdoctoral training at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Her primary research interests have focused on repair and regeneration mechanisms underlying CNS trauma and neurological disorders. As a postdoctoral fellow, she studied epigenetic mechanisms regulating axon regeneration and glial response after spinal cord injury. Additionally, Dr. Wong studied the effects of manipulating BMP signaling on stroke pathophysiology.
Dr. Wong received her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences in 2011 and B.S. in Neurobiology in 2004 from the Neurobiology and Behavior Department at University of California, Irvine. Her thesis work focused on evaluating the impact of plasticity-promoting drugs and motor training on locomotor recovery following spinal cord injury.
Dr. Wong’s research at Tisch MSRCNY is directed towards understanding mechanisms of neurodegeneration and astrogliosis in primary progressive multiple sclerosis.