The Barancik Prize for Innovation in Multiple Sclerosis Research was recently awarded to University of California professor Katerina Akassoglou, Ph.D. for her work understanding the origins of nerve damage in MS and identifying potential therapies to prevent it.
The Barancik Prize was established by the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation to inspire original ideas in stopping the disease. The most prestigious of its kind in the MS scientific community, the annual award comes with $100,000 to be used at the discretion of the recipient. Akassoglou is the sixth recipient of the award.
“This award is game-changing,” says Teri A Hansen, President | CEO of the Barancik Foundation. “For most researchers, acclaim of this level comes at the end of their tenure. The Barancik Prize is aimed to recognize up and coming leaders in MS research and incentivize breakthroughs.”
Because MS affects a small percentage of the US population, research on the disease receives little to no federal funding. The Barancik family have been moved to support efforts to end MS for decades, because of a loved one afflicted with the condition. Most people with multiple sclerosis are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and it affects women three times more often than men.
The international prize is administered through the National MS Society.