MS Research Day Successes



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.

Best wishes,

Jake Sosnoff & Gill Snyder

Illinois Multiple Sclerosis Research Day | April 16, 2019

Professor Jacob Sosnoff and IHSI invite you to an upcoming conference that will showcase the breadth and quality of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) research on the Illinois campus. The Illinois Multiple Sclerosis Research Day will be held Tuesday, April 16, 2019, at the I Hotel and Conference Center in Champaign, IL. It will serve as the first public announcement of the Illinois MS Research Collaborative (detailed below).

The conference will engage researchers, faculty, and students from various units; campus leaders; persons living with MS; local clinicians; pharmaceutical representatives; and other external collaborators in the varied offerings of the day (lighting talks, student research posters, MS research participant panel, etc.). Dr. Kathy Zackowski, Senior Director of Patient Management, Care, and Rehabilitation Research at the National MS Society, will present about the society’s research priorities and future direction of MS research. This is a great opportunity to understand how to shape our collective research at Illinois and maximize our impact.

This exciting event is hosted by the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute, with additional sponsorship from the College of Applied Health SciencesDepartment of Kinesiology & Community HealthDepartment of Comparative BiosciencesCenter for Social and Behavioral Science, and National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Technologies to Support Successful Aging-in-Place for People with Long-Term Disabilities (

Please make plans to attend as we increase visibility and explore new opportunities for Multiple Sclerosis research. If you will need disability-related accommodations in order to participate, please email Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting your access needs.

Register today

Illinois MS Research Collaborative

The Illinois Multiple Sclerosis Research Collaborative will serve to increase quality of life for individuals living with MS, enhance scientific discovery, and increase Illinois research competitiveness for funding. Goals of the collaborative include, but are not limited to:

  1. Shared/centralized recruitment efforts
  2. Research participant registry
  3. Minimum testing battery
  4. Public dissemination and outreach

The MS Research Collaborative will also serve as a fertile ground to mentor graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, as well as junior faculty.