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Braun fundraiser raises over $20k for basic MS research

Friday, May 25, 2018

A Raleigh couple, Eric and Erika Braun, have raised more than $20,000 this year to support Discovery MS, a non-profit multiple sclerosis (MS) research initiative headed by the Neurology Department's Simon Gregory, PhD. Launched in 2016, and housed in the David H. Murdock Research Institute in Kannapolis' North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC), Discovery MS aims to improve MS diagnosis and prognosis, help people with MS live fuller, more active lives, and to gain a clearer picture of the origins of MS.

“Discovery MS offers the chance to explore new avenues of MS research and the opportunity to experiment with high-risk, high-reward studies,” Gregory said. “The Brauns are providing vital funds for sustaining research at Discovery MS, as well as laying the seed for larger donations in the future. Together, we are changing the paradigm for funding research.”

The Brauns decided to donate to the project in part based on their own experience; Eric Braun was diagnosed with MS in 2001. They hope Discovery MS will help lead to better understandings of MS as well as the development of new treatments.

“Because basic research does not have a specific treatment goal or end product like a new drug or other potential revenue outcome, it is typically more difficult to fund through companies that are seeking to monetize new treatments,” said Eric Braun. “While basic research may ultimately lead to better treatments, it is typically several steps removed from commercialized treatment identification.”

The Braun's first fundraiser, held last year, raised nearly $40,000; this year they hope to raise a similar amount. Read more about their work here.