Simon Thebault, MBBCh, PhD

2024 Clinician Scientist Development Award in Multiple Sclerosis


Title/Institution: Neuroimmunology and Multiple Sclerosis Research Fellow, University of Pennsylvania

Project Title: “Dynamics of EBV latency/reactivation in association with new relapse biology in MS”

Project Summary: Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is one of the most common viruses in humans, and typically causes no or mild symptoms. After an EBV infection, the virus remains inactive in the body. EBV infection is the most significant viral risk factor for multiple sclerosis (MS).

Dr. Thebault’s research will examine how EBV impacts the progression of MS, and will investigate whether EBV activity correlates with MS relapses. Preliminary findings suggest increased EBV activity during relapses, indicating a possible role in exacerbating MS symptoms. Understanding the relationship between EBV and MS could lead to the development of treatments to control EBV infection and reduce the frequency of MS relapses.

This research is funded by Bristol Myers Squibb through the American Brain Foundation, in collaboration with the American Academy of Neurology.