Associate Professor Anne La Flamme
Head of the Multiple Sclerosis Research Programme, Malaghan Institute of Medical Research
Immunologist, School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington
One of New Zealand’s leading multiple sclerosis (MS) researchers, Associate Professor Anne La Flamme, is focused on finding a cure for this immune-mediated disease, and in particular, she aims to find a treatment that will benefit the subset of patients with MS that do not respond to any existing treatment.
Associate Professor La Flamme received her BSc in Life Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her Masters in Molecular Parasitology and PhD in Immunoparasitology from the University of Washington, Seattle. After receiving her doctorate, Associate Professor La Flamme spent several years at Cornell University studying how parasites alter the host's immune response and cause immune-mediated pathology.
Associate Professor La Flamme has been in New Zealand for eleven years, and is an Associate Professor in Cell and Immunobiology in the School of Biological Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington. She is also Head of the MS Research Programme at the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research.
Recently, Associate Professor La Flamme’s laboratory found that a commonly used anti-psychotic drug is effective at modifying multiple sclerosis in an experimental model of the disease. Through a Neurological Foundation-funded project, she is investigating the potential of this drug to treat MS, and the findings will guide future trials of the drug in MS patients. If this drug is effective for the treatment of MS, new insights into immune dysfunction and its contribution to disease pathogenesis will emerge. Associate Professor La Flamme is collaborating on this project with Associate Professor Bronwen Connor at the University of Auckland and neurologist Dr Jennifer Pereira at the Department of Neurology, Auckland City Hospital.