Exploring the role of genetic factors in MS

Image shows a strain of DNA under the microscope

Dr Stephen Sawcer

University of Cambridge


About the project

Genetic studies have identified over 100 genes that are linked to an increased risk of MS. However, little is known about how these genes are involved in the functions of the body and therefore how they might contribute to the development of MS.

This project will study the role of one of those genes, to see whether it can increase the risk of MS by causing immune cells to be more active, especially in lesions.

Researchers will specifically look at the effect this gene has on a specific subset of immune cells. Researchers will collect immune cells from 50 people with MS and 50 people without, to investigate how this gene affects the immune system. They want to find out if the immune cells behave differently in people that have different variants of this gene.

How will it help people with MS?

By studying the function of each gene identified, researchers can understand why it leads to an increased risk of MS. We need to understand more about the causes of MS, so that this knowledge can be used to identify new potential treatments for MS in the future.

The difference you can make

Understanding the underlying causes of MS is crucial in our fight to Stop MS. We can only do that with your support..

The next research breakthrough is in reach

Your donation will help stop MS.

  • Please enter an amount

    Our minimum donation is £2, please enter a different amount.

£30could process one blood sample, giving researchers crucial information about genes and the immune system.

£50could pay for an hour on a microscope, so scientists can study cells and tissue in greater detail and improve their understanding of the biology of MS.

£100could pay for half an hour of MRI use, so researchers can monitor the success of clinical trials and understand MS in more detail.

Every penny you give really does take us a step closer to stopping MS. Your donation will make a difference.

  • Please enter an amount

    Our minimum donation is £2, please enter a different amount.

£10a month could pay for lab equipment like microscope slides to study the building blocks of MS

£20a month could pay for lab equipment like petri dishes to grow bacteria important for studying genetics

£30a month could process a blood sample to help us understand what causes MS, so we can stop it in its tracks

Your regular donation means we can keep funding world class MS research with confidence. Together we will stop MS.

MS researcher at work in lab, using a pipette