Phenotypic characterisation of multiple sclerosis

Project Details

Multiple sclerosis is a disease with a broad spectrum of clinical and subclinical presentations. Our understanding of their patterns (such as frequency and topography of clinical relapses, radiologically apparent brain damage, neurological disability and cognitive impairment) is limited. New metrics enabling more detailed, in-depth phenotypisation of the disease (such as volumetric MRI or accessible instruments for screening of cognitive function) are now becoming available for use in clinical practice.

This project broadens our understanding of multiple sclerosis phenotypes. It studies the patterns and impact of clinical relapses, disability trajectories, quantitative (volumetric) MRI changes and cognitive function, with emphasis on the prognostic value of the identified patterns. It also implements volumetric MRI in clinical practice and establishes its translational value at the individual patient level.


  • Dr Tomas Kalincik, project leader
  • Dr Bernd Merkel, postdoctoral fellow


  • MSBase collaborators (117 MS centre in 35 countries)


  • NHMRC project grant 108353, Treating progressive MS.
  • University of Melbourne Research Fellowship.

Research Opportunities

This research project is available to PhD students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.

Research Outcomes

  1. Stewart T, Spelman T, Havrdova E… Kalincik T, on behalf of the MSBase Study Group (in press) Contribution of different relapse phenotypes to disability in multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler
  2. Kalincik T, Cutter G, Spelman T, Jokubaitis V, Havrdova E, Horakova D, et al., on behalf of the MSBase Study Group (2015) Defining reliable disability outcomes in multiple sclerosis. Brain 138:3287-98
  3. Kalincik T (2015) Multiple sclerosis relapses: epidemiology, outcomes and management. A systematic review. Neuroepidemiology 44(4):199-214
  4. Uher T, Vaneckova M, Sobisek L. . . Kalincik T and Horakova D (in press) Combining clinical and MRI predictors enhances prediction of 12-year disability in multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler
  5. Uher T, Blahova Dusankova J, Horakova D, Bergsland N, Tyblova M, Benedict RHB, Kalincik T, Ramasamy DP, Seidl Z, Hagemeier J, Vaneckova M, Krasensky J, Havrdova E, Zivadinov R (2014). Longitudinal MRI and neuropsychological assessment of patients with clinically isolated syndrome. J Neruol 261(9):1735-44
  6. Kalincik T, Buzzard K, Jokubaitis V, Trojano M, Izquierdo G, Duquette P, et al., on behalf of the MSBase Study Group (2014) Risk of relapse phenotype recurrence in multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler 20:1511-22
  7. Kalincik T, Vivek V, Jokubaitis VG, Lechner Scott J, Trojano M, Izquierdo G et al., on behalf of the MSBase Study Group (2013) Sex as a determinant of relapse incidence and progressive course of multiple sclerosis. Brain 136:3609-3617

Research Group

Multiple Sclerosis Outcomes and Prognostics Team

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Medicine and Radiology

Unit / Centre

Multiple Sclerosis Outcomes and Prognostics Team