Governing Principles

  • Our Mission is to share insights gleaned from centers of excellence in multiple sclerosis (MS) research with other investigators interested in understanding the etiology, course, or treatment of MS. Specifically, the SUMMIT Consortium is creating an open network, through which scientists would contribute to, and have access to, de-identified high-quality, deeply profiled, prospectively collected data from cohorts of patients with MS.
  • The driving principle behind SUMMIT is that, through collaboration and synergy, collectively we will make more rapid progress towards fully understanding the disease course of MS than can be achieved individually.
  • Membership in SUMMIT carries advantages for which some sacrifices of autonomy are considered to be a reasonable price – the community benefits considerably outweighing the individual restrictions.
  • For any research that would rely wholly or in significant part on SUMMIT data or resources, Members are required to discuss their ideas within the Consortium. This principle of “no surprises” extends to all new analyses, poster and oral presentations, manuscripts and other tools of the trade.
  • Although data originating from SUMMIT that are now in the public domain do not, by definition, have restrictions on their subsequent use, in the spirit of transparency it is preferable that discussions on their proposed uses with groups that contributed those data also precede presentation and publication.
  • Members are further encouraged, but not required, to share relevant ideas that do not require use of Consortium data or resources.
  • Among other advantages, benefits of this cooperative approach are expected to include the strengthening and improving of preliminary ideas via discussion with fellow experts, the possibility of attracting additional resources in support of proposed projects, access to larger sample and data sets, better analytical tools, and sharing of complementary skills.
  • Governance of what we believe could become a unique resource will be a responsibility of the SUMMIT leadership, the National MS Society and independent experts on MS and other demyelinating diseases.


Generously funded by the National MS Society.