Affiliation(s): University of Alberta
Dr. Bradley Kerr received his BSc in Psychology from McGill University. He then went on to obtain a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of London-King’s College in the UK. His PhD research was aimed at understanding the role of novel modulatory peptides, growth factors and pro-inflammatory cytokines in persistent pain. Dr. Kerr went on to do postdoctoral work at the California Institute of Technology and at McGill University where his work focused on studying inflammatory responses after nervous system injury. Dr. Kerr joined the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at the University of Alberta in 2007 and is also an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Psychiatry. The focus of research in his lab is aimed at addressing the mechanisms of chronic pain after injury or disease with a major focus on chronic pain associated with Multiple Sclerosis.
How did you become interested in MS research? What inspires you to continue advancing research in this field?
I began to work on the mouse model of MS as a post doctoral fellow. I have always been fascinated by the interaction of the immune and nervous systems. I feel there is so much left to understand relating to how we can harness the beneficial aspects of neuroinflammation to treat MS and secondary symptoms like pain in the disease.
What do you enjoy most about doing research and what are some of the challenges you face?
I feel very lucky to spend my days surrounded by bright, intelligent people working together to solve a very challenging puzzle. It's often a daunting challenge but knowing that the solutions we find may benefit someone with this disease always keeps me motivated.
Describe the importance and level of collaboration in your research?
Collaboration is crucial. Research is now a team sport and we are constantly engaged in collaborative experiments and discussions with labs both locally, provincially, nationally and even internationally.
How important is the support from the MS Society in enabling you to conduct research?
On a scale of 1 to 10, the support from the MS Society is an 11 in terms of importance for facilitating the research we do.
If you could ask one question to a person living with MS that would help you design your study, what would it be?
How has pain or other sensory disturbamces affected your day to day life?