Living with MS can sometimes feel like you’re stranded on an island by yourself. People who don’t have MS might not fully understand what you’re going through, and others living with MS may have symptoms and experiences entirely different from yours.
To make the MS world smaller, this year’s World MS Day (May 30) theme is “bringing us closer.” It’s about building connections and sharing stories to unify us in our collective stand against MS. Connect with the researchers, students and nurses who are at the forefront of finding a cure to bring us closer to a world free of MS. Meet two of our researchers and learn how their work is #BringingUsCloser to a cure.
Haley Titus, MD, PhD
Haley (far right) and her family.
Why did Haley get involved with MS research? It all started with her mother.
“My personal and professional life goal is to cure MS, as my mother has secondary progressive MS. She is the most optimistic person I know. She has taught me how to be a kind, strong and empowered woman. She taught me the value and importance of resiliency. My goal is to create a brighter future and better quality of life through my work. I feel obligated to serve because I have the privilege of being able to.”
Haley’s research focuses on the immune system and expanding ways people with MS can empower themselves.
“What I work on is selectively targeting just the small part of the immune system that goes awry in MS. We are also working on the combination of selective immunoregulatory therapy and myelin repair in addition to promoting general wellness such as diet and exercise.”
Melissa Brown, PhD
Melissa was already working in the research field when MS affected her family.
“When my brother was diagnosed, I was already an immunologist doing research. He was a sophomore in college when he had the first indication that something was wrong. It was a very scary time for him and our family. We knew there was no cure and that it was hard to predict how severe his disabilities would become. Luckily, I had access to published scientific information and of course was eager to learn what was known about the MS and what treatments were available to patients.”
She has hope for the future of MS research and hopes others do as well.
“A diagnosis of MS is perhaps less devastating today perhaps than when my brother was first evaluated. Earlier treatment and much better drugs with fewer side effects are available for many patients that dramatically slow progression. I am very hopeful that this disease can be conquered. There are many dedicated people who are working on this problem. Importantly, there is a revolution in the technology that allows us to collect and share large amounts of genetic and cellular data from patients. With a little more time and research support, I think real changes in treatment are just over the horizon.”
Learn more about MS researchers from around the globe on the World MS website.