Engaging Thoughts

Engaging Thoughts
Laura Kolaczkowski is active in the MS community on several levels, including writing for her personal blog InsideMyStory and other online distribution outlets.  She is a newly named District Activist Leader with the National MS Society and was the recent recipient of an NMSS Lifetime Achievement award from the Ohio Valley Chapter.  Laura serves as the Lead Patient representative for iConquerMS™, a patient powered research network funded through PCORI. In this role she functions as a bridge between researchers and the almost 3,000 people with MS who have enrolled and shared their own personal MS history. Her approach to research is patient centric, and strongly rooted in her Liberal Arts background with a focus on understanding the shift in patient – physician relationships thanks to the use of digital media and online MS sites.

Laura-K-Profile-photoLaura has her B.A. in Communication Management from the University of Dayton, where she also worked for over 25 years, until leaving full-time work due to her MS.  She resides in Beavercreek, Ohio, and appreciates Midwest living but loves the fast pace of visits to Boston, Washington, DC and the Pacific Northwest.  She and her husband, John, enjoy traveling and she has visited 49 of the states in the US; she is open to suggestions on what to do when she makes it to Idaho, which will be her 50th state. This mother of two adult children and three grandchildren, has a love for cookie baking during the holidays.

Laura’s focus here at Multiple Sclerosis News Today will be on better understanding the many complex dimensions and layers of research and how people living with a chronic disease like multiple sclerosis can be engaged in the research process.  She believes advances in MS treatment and daily life will only come about when more people understand the aims of research and become active participants.  She is open to topics about research to cover here and would love to hear from scientists and clinicians who are working in laboratories and on clinical trials, so she might have a more personal look at the process.

The late Dr. John N. Whitaker was a world-famous researcher in multiple sclerosis. His work inspired many scientists to enter the field of MS and develop their skills and talents. Each year, the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers honors Dr. Whitaker’s memory by presenting one award for innovative research by a young investigator. — CMSC Annual Meeting Program

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