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Kessler Foundation scientist awarded $554,000 for multiple sclerosis employment research

West Orange, NJ. April 19, 2012. Lauren Strober, PhD, has been awarded a five-year federal grant for $554,000 to study factors relating to unemployment in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Dr. Strober is a research scientist at Kessler Foundation, a major center for cognitive research and training in multiple sclerosis and a leader in the field of disability employment. She is the recipient of a Mentored Patient-Oriented Research (POR) Career Development Award (K23) from the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation and Research, which is part of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

The (POR) Career Development Awards support the career development of clinically trained professionals who have the potential to develop into productive, clinical investigators focusing on patient-oriented research. Dr. Strober's research focuses on the impact on employment of individuals with MS, a group with unemployment rates as high as 80%. MS, an unpredictable disease, is the leading cause of neurological disability among young and middle-aged adults. Because MS is most common during the prime working years, (age 20 to 50 years), knowledge that contributes to maintaining employment and assisting practitioners in making informed decisions regarding employment is a priority.

Dr. Strober's study takes into account known factors associated with unemployment (demographics, disease variables), as well as person-specific factors (personality, coping), which have not been extensively investigated. "Kessler Foundation is strong in cognitive rehabilitation research, and committed to expanding employment opportunities for people with disabilities," noted Dr. Strober. "This is the ideal environment for the scientific investigation of obstacles to employment in MS. The goal is to develop a predictive model of unemployment in MS that can be used as a decision-making tool by practitioners. Application of the tool will help people with MS retain jobs, which will positively affect their overall care and quality of life."


Contact: Carolann Murphy
Kessler Foundation

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