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SLCMSR Sylvia Lawry Centre for Multiple Sclerosis ResearchSylvia Lawry Centre for Multiple Sclerosis Research

SLCMSR foundation
Sylvia Lawry

Sylvia Lawry was first confronted with MS in 1945

Sylvia Lawry when her brother Bernard was diagnosed with the disease. In the search for a successful therapy she put a classified ad in The New York Times. She received around 50 replies to this advertisement - from patients who were themselves seeking a cure. This was Sylvia Lawry´s first step in the fight for a world without MS. She won over famous scientists to her cause and already by 1946 had founded the US National MS society and by 1967 the worldwide Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF) with headquarters in London. As the umbrella organization, the MSIF coordinates the network of 42 national MS societies and the international MS research community. The MSIF is a driving force behind worldwide research not only to find effective and financially feasible therapies but also, in the final analysis, a cure for the disease. In 2001, as part of these efforts, the Federation founded the Sylvia Lawry Centre for Multiple Sclerosis Research in Munich. The MSIF supports the creation and further development of new and existing MS societies in order to safeguard the care of patients on a worldwide basis. The organization promotes the worldwide exchange of all information relevant to MS. And not least, the MSIF also understands its role as that of an advocate for sufferers, in order to ensure that every patient suffering from MS receives the best available therapy.

Sylvia Lawry (1915–2001)

1967 to 1997 Secretary General MSIF


1945 Sylvia Lawry´s brother Bernard is diagnosed with MS; through a classified ad in the New York Times she seeks people who have been cured.
1946 Together with 20 scientists, Sylvia Lawry founds the world's first MS organization:
The Association for Advancement of Research in MS, forerunner of today's US National MS Society.
1967 Sylvia Lawry founds the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF), which today numbers 42 national MS societies among its members.
The Federation's priorities:
  • international research,
  • development of new and existing national MS societies,
  • exchange of information,
  • representation of the interests of affected parties.

2001 The Sylvia Lawry Centre for Multiple Sclerosis Research, Munich is founded by the MSIF. With the aid of the world's largest MS database, an interdisciplinary team of scientists starts operations to achieve a breakthrough in the treatment and cure of MS.