In 2008 MSIF McDonald Fellowships were awarded to three promising young MS researchers from emerging countries enabling them to carry out 2 year research projects in MS centres of excellence.
The McDonald fellowship has enabled Georgina, a neurologist from the National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery in Mexico City, Mexico, to travel to the Vall d’Hebron Hospital in Barcelona, Spain, where she is investigating biological prognostic factors in patients with clinically isolated syndromes suggestive of multiple sclerosis, under the supervision of Prof. Xavier Montalban. Upon returning to Mexico, Georgina hopes to improve the organisation of the demyelinating diseases clinic at the Institute of Neurology in Mexico, and help the clinic become a reference centre in Mexico for biological markers in CIS.
Using the McDonald fellowship, Yaou a neuroradiologist from Capital Medical University, Beijing, China, is carrying out a two-year research project at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia, where he is supervised by Dr Helmut Butzkueven and Prof. Peter Mitchell. He is investigating use of a serum phosphorylated neurofilament H (pNF-H) as a biomarker of axonal injury with clinical and MRI correlations in MS and also conducting an assessment of MRI outcomes for a Vitamin D2 intervention study. In addition to these research projects, during his stay in Melbourne, he has been appointed as a visiting radiologist to the Royal Melbourne Hospital. On his return to China, Yaou plans to create a larger MS research group in Xuanwu hospital, maintain and enhance collaboration between the two hospitals in Melbourne and China and ultimately facilitate the creation of a National MS society of China.
Andrea, a neurologist from the University of Pécs in Hungary, used her fellowship to visit the Center for Neurological Imaging (CNI), Brigham and Womens’ Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, where she is investigating MRI correlates of deficits in social cognition in multiple sclerosis under the supervision of Dr. C. Guttmann. When she returns to Hungary, Andrea plans to expand the MS research spectrum in her department and improve daily care in the hospital by introducing new neuroimaging methods to increase quality of research. She also hopes to establish and maintain a professional collaboration between the University of Pécs and CNI.