It’s not every student that gets to discover something new to the world of medicine during their studies, but for one lucky med student it’s all in a day’s work.

Dr. Marek Michalak and Allison Kraus, two scientists from the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta, have discovered that shutting off a particular gene causes the body to develop mobility issues.

“We’re very excited about our findings,” said Kraus at a media availability Thursday.

“No one before has made the link between Calnexin, the gene we study, and myelin disease.”

This discovery affects all myelin diseases, such as MS.

Although certainly not a cure for MS, it is another piece of information leading one step closer to understanding how mobility is affected on a cellular level.

“When we interrupt a gene, we basically silence it,” said Dr. Michalak.

“So the impact on myelin function is through the protein that is produced by the gene that is responsible.”

Dr. Michalak was elated by the chance discovery.

“I think the beauty of this is that this really arises from curiosity-driven research. It’s something we would not have expected.”