Affiliation(s): University of Manitoba
Dr. Ruth Ann Marrie is a Professor of Medicine and Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba. She received her undergraduate degree in chemistry and her medical degree from Dalhousie University, both with Distinction. She completed neurology training at McGill University. This was followed by a fellowship in Multiple Sclerosis at the Cleveland Clinic, supported by a Sylvia Lawry Physician Fellowship Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Subsequently, she obtained a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from Case Western Reserve University. Presently she holds the Waugh Family Chair in Multiple Sclerosis. Her research aims to understand the influence of comorbid factors, such as other chronic diseases, health behaviors, and critical illness on a range of multiple sclerosis (MS)-related health outcomes. Other areas of research interest include etiologic factors for MS, patient-reported outcomes, and pediatric MS.
During my neurology residency, I had six months to conduct a research project. I worked on a case-control study that looked at infectious mononucleosis as a risk factor for multiple sclerosis and became really interested in continuing research in this area.
What do you enjoy most about doing research and what are some of the challenges you face?
Research helps me to address questions that arise during my clinical work, and in turn I hope will improve the care that we can deliver to people with MS. Challenges with this kind of work including identifying study participants, ensuring that study visits are not too tiring for study participants, and accounting for all of the heterogeneity in outcomes between people with MS.
Describe the importance and level of collaboration in your research?
My studies involve collaboration with researchers with expertise in multiple sclerosis, brain imaging, neuropsychology, psychology, epidemiology, cardiology, and psychiatry. These collaborations are important to ensure that our study is methodologically sound and that the findings are as accurate and interpretable as possible.
How important is the support from the MS Society in enabling you to conduct research?
I would not be able to conduct this work without the financial support from the MSSC.
If you could ask any question(s) to a person living with MS that would help you design your study, what would it be?
Do you think your other health conditions (if any) affect your MS?
Do you think care of your other health conditions is affected by having MS?