Registrations are now open to compete for the 10th Paulo Gontijo International Medicine Award. Young researchers up to 40 years and of any nationality can compete and register their scientifics estudies from June 1st until July 15th at the site: www.ipg.org.br/premioPG. The award aims to encourage and recognize research on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the third most frequent neurodegenerative disease in the world.
The winning research author will receive $ 20,000 and a Gold Medal awarded at the opening of the 29th International ELA / DNM Symposium to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, on December 7th. The Symposium is organized by the Motor Neuron Disease Association and the winner will present the winning work during the opening session of the event.
“This year, we are celebrating the ten years of the Paulo Gontijo Award, the only one delivered by a Brazilian entity to the international scientific community. We have the joy and pride of being able to collaborate with so many researchers who are relentlessly working to find treatment and cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Encouragement and recognition are important tools for stimulating the scientific community”, says Marcela Gontijo, Chairman of Paulo Gontijo Institute.
The judgment of the PG Medical Award is made by the IPG International Jurors team, composed of scientific authorities, both Brazilian and international, involved in the research of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
The jury of the award is composed by a team of scientific authorities, both Brazilian and international, involved in research on ELA. The result will be announced on the IPG website in August, and the winner will receive communication by email.
IPG is proud of its previous year's award recipients who continue to participate in important scientifics studies impacting international research on the cause and cure of ALS. The PG Award is also a way of recognizing IPG's creator, Paulo Gontijo, who was affected by the disease and worked tirelessly searching for his cure.
In 2017, the winner of the 9th edition was the Dutch researcher Dra. Marka van Blitterswijk (MD, Ph.D.), assistant professor of neuroscience at Mayo Clinic (Jacksonville, FL, USA), with a thesis that seeks to understand why there is great variability between the patients with ALS, both in the age at which the first symptoms occur and in the presence of dementia, disease progression and survival.
She focused her research in an oriented patient, particularly on ALS cause: a mutation in a gene called C9ORF72. Marka examined specific candidates and used approaches on a large scale to find abnormalities more sophisticated in DNA and RNA that could explain this variability.
"These abnormalities could point to promising disease modifiers, biomarkers and/or therapeutic targets, translating their research into clinical practice", she explains. Dr. Van Blitterswijk's work emphasizes that the explanation is much more complex than previously thought and that an intricate combination of factors is responsible for the observed variability.
The Paulo Gontijo Institute is a private, non-profit organization (OSCIP), which acts to promote research and scientific studies that contribute to increase the level of knowledge regarding amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In addition, its mission is to develop sensitization and humanization actions that contribute to the better care of professionals, patients and their families.
The physicist and engineer Paulo Gontijo was diagnosed as having ALS in 1999. Researcher, tirelessly sought the cause and cure of the disease and idealized the first molds of how the institution would be and what would be its contribution in favor of science.
The IPG was founded by bis children, in 2005, three years after his death.