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Cleveland Clinic Physician Receives Prominent Award for Outstanding Contributions to MS Research

Researcher to be Recognized for Efforts to Better Understand, Treat MS

February 21, 2012

Richard Ransohoff, MD, a Cleveland Clinic physician and a researcher in the Neurosciences Department of Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute, has been awarded the 2012 John Dystel Prize for Multiple Sclerosis Research.

The award – presented by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society since 1995 – is given annually to one recipient, recognizing “outstanding contributions to research in the understanding, treatment, or prevention of multiple sclerosis” and “significant and exciting work that has influenced how we think about multiple sclerosis.” 

Dr. Ransohoff's most recent contributions to the field of multiple sclerosis (MS) include the discovery that MS can progress from the outermost layers of the brain to its interior. Aiming to lower the risk/benefit ratio of multiple sclerosis therapy, he has also recently developed an experimental model that allowed his group to identify a novel mechanism for harmful infiltration of white blood cells into the central nervous system. With increased understanding of this process and how it is regulated, new therapeutic targets are possible.

“It is an honor to receive this award, which recognizes the research done by my colleagues and me. With support from the National Institutes of Health, the National MS Society and generous individual donors, this prestigious award inspires our daily work,” Dr. Ransohoff said. “During the past 15 years, we’ve identified several new molecules as potential targets for MS treatments and rationales for developing new MRI techniques to visualize brain damage in MS.”

Dr. Ransohoff will be awarded the prize at the 2012 AAN Annual Meeting in New Orleans. With Dr. Ransohoff and the 2003 recipient, Bruce Trapp, PhD, the chairman of the Neurosciences Department of the Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic joins Yale University and the University College London as the only institutions with two Dystel Prize awardees. 

Cleveland Clinic’s Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment and Research is one of the largest and most comprehensive programs for MS care. Mellen Center physicians are national leaders in basic and clinical research related to MS pathogenesis and medical management and have made major contributions in the development of drugs to control MS disease activity and progression.

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