Mayo Clinic neurologist recognized for groundbreaking MS research
A Mayo Clinic neurologist is being recognized for her contributions to understanding and treating multiple sclerosis.
Dr. Claudia Lucchinetti, chair of Mayo's Department of Neurology in Rochester, will be awarded the 2016 John Dystel Prize for Multiple Sclerosis Research at a conference next week in Vancouver, the clinic announced Wednesday.
"Dr. Lucchinetti is one of only a few neurologists in the world with expertise in neuroinflammation, and her research has led to paradigm shifts in our understanding of central nervous system demyelinating diseases over the past two decades," the clinic said in a news release.
Her interest in MS began in college when she began caring for a young mother who lost her battle with a rare form of the disease. “At that moment, I decided that I would devote my career to trying to make a difference in the lives of MS patients,” she said.
Since then, Lucchinetti has become one of the world's foremost experts on the disease — and over the past two decades has created the world's largest tissue bank of MS lesions.
“As someone who has worked side-by-side with Dr. Lucchnietti, I can say first-hand that she is a thought leader sought out by colleagues around the world,” said John Noseworthy, president and CEO of Mayo Clinic, and a trained neurologist. “Her expertise not only advances our understanding of the disease, but also moves the field forward to the benefit of patients at Mayo Clinic and people everywhere.”
This is the second time that a Mayo Clinic researcher has won the prize, which is awarded annually by the National MS Society and the American Academy of Neurology. Dr. Brian Weinshenker, a neurologist in Rochester, was honored for his groundbreaking research related to MS in 2011.
(Cover photo courtesy Mayo Clinic)