Professor David Tscharke is one of the leading researchers on viruses - he's a go-to expert on the coronavirus - but now he's been given a grant to study a field far closer to home: his own illness.
The head of Australian National University's Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases is to research multiple sclerosis, the disease he found he had 10 years ago.
At the age of 41, he felt some tingling and numbness that turned out to be caused by MS, a degenerative disease of the central nervous system.
"I knew something was wrong because I had an odd sensation in my left arm and then some numbness in my left hand and then tingling in my left foot," he said.
"As a medical researcher, you know there is only one thing that connects the hand and the foot and that is the central nervous system - so that made me worried."
He went to his GP and the scans revealed the truth he had feared.
But MS has not been his main field - until now.
Over the past 30 years, he has primarily studied viruses and the way the body responds to them.
But now he has won an Incubator Grant from MS Research Australia to study the illness which is closest to him.
"I want to help people with MS, like me, make better treatment option choices," Professor Tscharke said.
With MS, the condition worsens over time - it only goes one way - but there can be variations, with symptoms coming and going on the route.
Those symptoms include numbness, being unable to walk or losing vision. The symptoms can last for days or months but then go into remission.
Understanding these changes will help patients - including the researcher.
"The timing is almost beyond belief," he said.
"I am starting a new project to research infections associated with treatments for MS and I've just found out that I have caught a virus infection that means my current MS treatment is no longer safe.
"I have to change my treatment and there is always uncertainty when you change your treatment. There are a number of options and it is a difficult choice people with MS have to make with their neurologist and treatment teams."
Professor Tscharke found it hard to deal emotionally with his diagnosis 10 years ago.
"After I was diagnosed, I was wiped out for a year.
"It took me a while to have confidence that I could start planning a future."
But he did get that confidence and resumed his work as one of the leading scientists in the field of viruses.
"Being a medical researcher helps me navigate MS but it doesn't remove the emotional component of all of this, and having a chronic disease is a particular burden in your mind."
But he still thinks he is better off than many sufferers who can't function as well as he can.
"Having MS is drawing a short straw in life, but having MS that's not highly active - it is a little bit of luck."