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N.C. Research Campus launches new way to fund scientist’s work with multiple sclerosis group

November 08, 2016

Read the original article from Charlotte Business Journal’s Ken Elkins. multiple sclerosis

A new study at the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis is searching for a cure for multiple sclerosis, but leaders are also working for a new way to seek continuing financial support for that research.

Discovery MS is up and running with a $1 million donation from former Charlotte movie theater executive Herman Stone and others.

Simon Gregory, the principal investigator of the MURDOCK MS Study, says Discovery MS provides a mechanism to seek funding to support MS research and leave the bedrock research to the scientist.

“It’s certainly a refreshing way of funding research,” Gregory says.

Discovery MS uses equipment at the Kannapolis research campus and participants in the community for the medical study. The mechanism will now allow leaders to go to major foundations for funding instead of relying on researchers’ search for government grants to fund research.

multiple sclerosis

Lead Discovery MS scientist Dr. Simon Gregory (left) accepting a donation from Justin Cox (right) of the J. Cox Family Foundation.

The new mechanism for funding and the fact that Discovery MS is doing exploratory research using the samples from the Duke University MURDOCK MS Study to look for a cure for MS attracted a promise of $40,000 from the J. Cox Family Foundation in Fort Wayne, Ind., says Justin Cox of the foundation.

“They’re going to the next level” with MS research, Cox says.

Cox, who has had MS since 1993, said the disease gave his family’s foundation a target for funding.

“Now it’s personal for the family and foundation,” he says.

During a MS Research Event this morning, Cox signed a symbolic $8,000 initial check to support Discovery MS to signify the five-year commitment to fund the MURDOCK MS Study.

About 75 people participated in the event, including victims of MS who are participating in the MURDOCK study.

Discovery MS is pulling results and participants from the MURDOCK Study to look for ways to reverse the effects of MS. In that way it worked as a cohort study of the larger MURDOCK Study. Discovery MS is housed on the N.C. Research Campus along with Duke University’s MURDOCK study.

Multiple sclerosis is a debilitating disease that affects the ability of the brain and spinal cord to communicate. It affects 2.5 million people in the United States.

But for Cox this is personal. Discovery MS is his hope for a cure that has convinced him it came be found soon.

“That’s my goal and driving force that we will find a cure in my lifetime,” Cox says.

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