We wanted to follow up with you about the inaugural Illinois Multiple Sclerosis Research Day. It was a true interdisciplinary and collaborative event, with about 150 attendees representing various colleges, institutes, and centers at the University of Illinois; hospitals and clinics; and corporate partners. We were also pleased to engage with several community members and individuals affected by MS. There was even a visit by Ike, the Illini service dog trainee!
Highlights of the day included an MS research participant panel, an industry panel, and a presentation by Dr. Kathy Zackowski, Program Officer from the National MS Society (largest MS research funder in the world). Lightning talks by Illinois faculty highlighted the breadth and scope of MS research on campus, from cell to society. Additionally, more than 20 cutting-edge Illinois research projects were presented and showcased during a lunchtime poster session. The event concluded with the announcement of the MS research collaborative and outlining of next steps. Attached you will find information about some of the resources that were mentioned throughout the day – if we forgot something please let us know and we will follow up!
At the beginning of the day, attendees were asked whether they were sitting at a table with others they did not know, or at least did not know well. Nearly everyone raised their hand. It was amazing to observe the formation of new collaborations as the day progressed, and the commitment of such a diverse group to work together toward a healthier future.
Looking toward the future, we invite you to be part of the Illinois MS Research Collaborative, whether it is as an individual living with MS, family member or caregiver of someone with MS, an interested community member, or as someone who researches MS – we can all play a role in maximizing health and wellness of the MS community!
Again, please except our appreciation for your continued support of MS research at Illinois.
Jake Sosnoff & Gill Snyder