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Thread: MS Repository hopes to put multiple sclerosis research of the fast track

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    MS Repository hopes to put multiple sclerosis research of the fast track

    MS Repository hopes to put multiple sclerosis research of the fast track

    By Jennifer Lord/Daily News staff
    Tue Jul 03, 2007, 07:08 PM EDT

    Art Mellor takes multiple sclerosis research very personally.

    Diagnosed with MS in 2000, his immediate response was to ask why it happened - and how soon a cure could be found.

    "I was assuming there was a plan, that there were people out there working together to find a cure," said Mellor, 44, an Arlington resident. "But there wasn't a concerted effort. There were people working on this aspect, that aspect, but when I looked into how medical research really works, I was just frustrated.

    "A core component of who I am is if there is a problem that worries me, I want to get it fixed," he added. "If no one else is fixing it, I want to do it myself."

    Mellor didn't have a background in medical research, but he did know something about organization, collaboration and bringing hazy visions into reality. A high-tech entrepreneur and MIT-trained engineer, Mellor had spent his career creating start-up companies and, in 2001, he formed the ultimate start-up: the Accelerated Cure Project, a national nonprofit dedicated to curing MS.

    The Accelerated Cure Project isn't a simple foundation dedicated to funding a cure. Its main initiative is the creation of the MS Repository, the largest openly accessible collection of bio-samples ever assembled for use in MS research. Limited sample size is one of the most frequently cited reasons for inconclusive results in MS research to date, and the repository not only allows a large sample size, but it will pool knowledge in a central database.

    "We're going to be a little accelerator to get some research working faster," said Mellor, who believes medical research has been stymied by competition, rather than collaboration, among researchers.

    The repository sites include the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, the Multiple Sclerosis Research Center of New York, and the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. The University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas will soon open for enrollment as well.


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