NEW YORK, Dec. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Robin Franklin, PhD, a leading scientist at the University of Cambridge focusing on stimulating the brain's repair mechanisms, is the winner of the 2017 Barancik Prize for Innovation in MS Research.
Prof. Franklin has pioneered work toward understanding how the myelin coating on nerve fibers (axons) regenerates, for clues to repairing myelin that has been damaged by MS and finding successful ways to repair and protect the nervous system and stop progression.
"I am absolutely delighted and deeply honored to have been chosen to receive the Barancik Prize," said Franklin. "I am interested in how tissues naturally regenerate, and identifying ways to stimulate those mechanisms to assist myelin regeneration in MS. This could both prevent further damage to axons and restore function, which would be particularly important for people living with progressive MS."
Prof. Franklin is a senior scientist at the Wellcome Trust-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, and Director of the Cambridge MS Society Centre for Myelin Repair. He is a world leader in the biology of oligodendrocytes, which are the myelinating cells in the brain that are damaged in MS. His team pinpointed a key factor that stimulates myelin repair (Retinoid X Receptors), which was the genesis of a clinical trial of a drug (bexarotene) already available for other conditions. His groundbreaking work conjoining old and young mice uncovered new clues to overcoming restrictions to repair that come with aging.
"Professor Franklin continues to make significant advances in myelin repair, offering real hope that solutions will be found that restore function to people living with MS," noted Bruce Bebo, Ph.D., Executive Vice President at the National MS Society (US), which administers the award.
"We are delighted that Robin Franklin has been awarded the prestigious Barancik Prize," said Dr. Susan Kohlhaas, Director of Research at the MS Society (UK). "His pioneering research has revolutionised what we think is possible in terms of developing treatments, while his passion and commitment make him a pleasure to work with and an immensely valued member of the scientific community."
Prof. Franklin will receive the award and deliver the Prize lecture at the ACTRIMS Forum in February 2018 in San Diego.
About the Barancik Prize for Innovation in MS Research The Barancik Prize seeks to recognize and encourage exceptional innovation and originality in scientific research relevant to multiple sclerosis, with emphasis on impact and potential of the research to lead to pathways for the treatment and cure for MS, and scientific accomplishments that merit recognition as a future leader in MS research. The international prize is made possible by the generosity of the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation, and is administered through the National MS Society.
About Multiple Sclerosis Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms vary from person to person and range from numbness and tingling, to walking difficulties, fatigue, dizziness, pain, depression, blindness and paralysis. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million worldwide. Learn more at nationalMSsociety.org.