Ruth Ann Marrie, MD, Ph.D., a neurologist, and researcher at the University of Manitoba, is the winner of this year’s Barancik Prize for Innovation in MS Research.
The disease was close to the hearts of Chuck and Margie Barancik, who often noted they someday dreamed of a world without MS. Awarded annually since 2013, the Barancik Prize recognizes exceptional scientists whose work in MS demonstrates outstanding innovation and originality. Recipients receive $100,000 to be used at their discretion.
Marrie, a Professor of Internal Medicine at the Max Rady College of Medicine, holds the Waugh Family Chair in Multiple Sclerosis. She is also a Professor in Community Health Sciences and Adjunct Scientist at the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy. Nominated by her peers, Marrie earned the Barancik Prize for making significant discoveries that deepen the understanding of how and when MS evolves, paving the way to more personalized medicine to stop and even prevent the disease.
Her holistic approach to understanding how MS affects individuals in the context of their unique life experiences and exposures, including childhood experiences, social circumstances, comorbidities, health behaviors, and other factors, is groundbreaking. Marrie has published several research papers, including a landmark paper in 2012, showing people with MS increased their healthcare use (doctor visits) within the five years prior to their first symptoms of MS.
Marrie is a co-author of the Pathways to MS Cures Roadmap, a global collaboration led by the National MS Society that outlines the promising research to stop MS, restore function, and end the disease through prevention.