UBC Pharm Sci professor to join Canadian research team studying the progression of multiple sclerosis

The University of British Columbia (UBC) Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences professor and director of the Collaboration for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE), Dr. Larry Lynd, is a co-lead of a multidisciplinary team of Canadian researchers chosen to lead a $7+ million dollar study into the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS).

The study, titled Canadian Proactive Cohort Study for People Living with MS (CanProCo), will be led by neurologist and researcher Dr. Jiwon Oh from St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Ontario.

With Canada having one of the highest rates of MS in the world, the CanProCo project goals include better understanding the nature of MS progression and associated triggers, exploring how to manage those triggers, and measuring the impact of the disease on both individuals and the Canadian healthcare system. To accomplish this, research teams will follow 1,000 patients from five different clinics across Canada over the course of five years.

The CanProCo project is divided into several key research pillars. Dr. Lynd will co-lead the epidemiology and health outcomes pillar, in conjunction with Drs. Scott Patten from the University of Calgary and Anthony Traboulsee, UBC Faculty of Medicine.

The epidemiology and health outcomes team will endeavour to identify environmental factors, comorbidities, patient and disease characteristics and health system factors that are linked to the progression of MS, and measure and evaluate the impact of MS progression on the healthcare system.

To do this, the team will use administrative data retrospectively from the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta to look for predictors of progression and outcomes. They will also collect data prospectively on key indicators of quality of life, clinical outcomes, productivity loss, and health care resource usage.

“It’s an honour to join this study along with distinguished colleagues from across Canada,” says Dr. Lynd. “Our hope is to take strides forward to better understand MS progression from a health outcomes perspective with the ultimate goal of identifying potential management strategies that might slow progression and improve health outcomes and quality of life for Canadians living with MS.”

Dr. Larry Lynd received his BSP in 1986 from the University of Saskatchewan and his PhD in the Department of Health Care and Epidemiology at UBC in 2002. He then completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in health economics with Dr. Bernie O'Brien at McMaster University. In addition to his roles as professor and director of CORE, he is scientist at the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcomes Sciences and the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation, scholar at the Peter Wall Institute of Advanced Studies, and associate of the UBC School of Population and Public Health. Dr. Lynd’s primary areas of scholarly interest include epidemiology and health economics, working specifically in respiratory medicine, orphan drugs and rare diseases, and genomic medicine, as well as multiple sclerosis.

Other leading researchers on the CanProCo project team include: Dr. Shannon Kolind (UBC), Dr. Alexandre Prat (Centre de Recherche du CHUM), and Dr. Roger Tam (UBC).

The CanProCo project is generously supported by funding partner Brain Canada which receives financial support from Health Canada through the Canada Brain Research Fund. Biogen Canada is also a founding and funding partner.

Recruitment for people living with MS to take part in this study will begin early 2019. 

Image: Dr. Larry Lynd with Dr. Karen Lee, VP Research, MS Society of Canada. Justin Lee Ohata, UBC Pharm Sci.