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MS treatment outlook: Interview with research leader Deborah Backus



Deborah Backus (left)

NR Times meets leading neuroscientist and MS expert Deborah Backus about the boundary-pushing research taking place at the Shepherd Centre in Atlanta.

Deborah Backus, vice president of research and innovation at the Shepherd Centre, Atlanta, has dedicated her career to researching MS and spinal cord injury. She initially began studying motor control in monkeys, but after a “lightbulb moment” during her PhD in neuroscience, she realised she needed to do more to “help clinicians understand the scientific evidence and how it can inform their practice”.

As director of MS research at the world-leading hospital, Dr Backus is putting this passion into practice.

The Shepherd Centre treats people across the entire continuum of care, covering spinal cord injury, acquired and traumatic brain injury, MS and chronic pain. Alongside its clinical work, the centre also contains corresponding research departments which carry out clinical trials that seek to directly improve clinical knowledge and patients’ quality of life.

Dr Backus speaks to NR Times about the importance of translating research into clinical research and how her career has been shaped by a passion for making research actionable.

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