Affiliation(s): University of Alberta
Christopher Power, M.D., F.R.C.P(C) is a Professor of Neurology at the University of Alberta and holds a Canada Research Chair in Neurological Infection and Immunity. He received a B.Sc. from the University of Toronto and an M.D. from the University of Ottawa with subsequent training in medicine and neurology at McMaster University and the University of Western Ontario, respectively, and postdoctoral fellowships at Johns Hopkins University and the National Institutes of Health in neurovirology. Dr. Power is a nationally and internationally recognized physician-scientist, studying the mechanisms of and developing treatments for neuroinflammatory diseases including Multiple Sclerosis and HIV infection of the brain. In addition to directing the Laboratory for Neurological Infection and Immunity, he is also an attending physician in the University of Alberta MS Clinic and is the founding Director of the University of Alberta MS Centre. He is the author of over 190 peer-reviewed publications.
How did you become interested in MS research? What inspires you to continue advancing research in this field?
I am neurologist and work in the University of Alberta MS Clinic. My overarching goal is to discover the cause of MS and to prevent it as well as improve the lives of people with MS through the development of new therapies targeting the cause of MS.
What do you enjoy most about doing research and what are some of the challenges you face?
I am driven by my curiosity to know what causes MS and how to prevent it. The chief obstacle facing researchers in Canada is limited research funds and interested trainees.
Describe the importance and level of collaboration in your research?
Our research program is predicated on collaborations involving experts in other fields that impact on our research questions (e.g., neuropathology, neurochemistry, neuroimmunology) in Canada and globally.
How important is the support from the MS Society in enabling you to conduct research?
Support from the MSSoC for meeting our goals is essential because of the limited funds available for research. Government and industrial financial support for research over the past decade has steadily declined, creating a vacuum, Moreover, the MSSoC has maintained a policy of supporting individual investigators which ensures the emergence of new and innovative strategies for discovering the cause and cure for MS.