Prizes play a big role in advancing scientific breakthroughs. However, many major awards honor well-established scientists who are usually in the least need of recognition and funding, squeezing out opportunities for up and coming researchers.
After top experts retire, who will replace them?
In 2013, Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation answered the call. The Barancik Prize for Innovation in Multiple Sclerosis Research was established as an annual prize recognizing an exceptional scientist or team whose work in MS research has demonstrated outstanding innovation and originality. The award is intended for early- to mid-career MS researchers with no more than 20 years of experience.
Designed to impact the potential pathway for treatment and cure for MS, the $100,000 prize can be used at the discretion of the recipient.
2013—Jonah Chan, Ph.D., University of California San Francisco, for creating cutting-edge and cost-effective technologies to solve the challenge of brain repair for people with MS.
2014—Philip De Jager, MD, Ph.D., Columbia University, for applying powerful analytic approaches to better understand how genes and the environment interact with the goal of developing personalized treatments for MS and, ultimately, disease prevention.
2015—Laura Balcer, MD, MSCE; Peter Calabresi, MD; and Elliot Frohman, MD, Ph.D. for groundbreaking research about the anatomy and biology of the retina and other structures of the eye in MS and applying optical coherence tomography (OCT) to study MS.
2016—Daniel Reich, MD, Ph.D., National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, for innovating approaches to imaging disease activity in MS, creating new pathways to better treatments.
2017—Robin Franklin, Ph.D., University of Cambridge, for pioneering work focusing on stimulating the brain’s repair mechanisms to restore function for people with progressive MS.
2018—Katerina Akassoglou, Ph.D., Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, for work understanding the role of fibrin-related nerve damage in MS and designing potential therapies to prevent neurodegeneration.
2019—Francisco J. Quintana, Ph.D., Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, for innovative research programs that use advanced technology to make significant contributions to the understanding of the immune response and to identify potential therapeutic targets and biomarkers for MS.
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