"As an engineer by training, it seemed clear to me that if you're looking at a disease that is caused by a combination of factors, we could expedite finding that combination by studying each factor using a common set of samples and then correlating the results," says Mellor.
To overcome the barrier of limited sample size, his organization is dedicated to collecting thousands of samples and making them available to researchers. To help connect the dots in the complex pattern of research results, his organization has created an interdisciplinary database that will help researchers uncover the most promising directions for future study, and thereby accelerate the cure by uncovering the causes.
According to Dr. Benjamin Greenberg, an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine for the Department of Neurology, "This is the most comprehensive approach to MS research to date. If this works, we might not only have a model for curing MS, but other multifactorial diseases."
A hypothetical example might involve a geneticist who wants to look for
unique genetic markers that may predispose people the develop MS and a
virologist who is looking for evidence of past infections as potential
triggers for MS. The Accelerated Cure Project would provide a common set of
samples from people with MS to each researcher and enter the results of
their research into their database. Then they would use sophisticated data
analysis techniques to search for patterns - such as a set of genes that
coincide with a particular virus. Over time, discovery of patterns such as
this would help to eliminate some potential causes a
|SOURCE Accelerated Cure Project|
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