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Open registrations for the 11th Paulo Gontijo Award

Published: 05/12/2019

From June 1st, researchers from all the world can register their scientific studies for the Paulo Gontijo Award. The subject must be related to the discovery of the cause and cure of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).


There is a $ 20,000 prize and a medal of honor for the winner, besides access to participate in the European Network for the Cure of ALS (ENCALS) international events. Finally, the awarded researcher will be presenting the thesis at the 30th International Symposium on ALS open session, that will take place on December 4th in Perth, Australia.

Since 2011, the award has been held annually and counts with the partnership of the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MND), the International Alliance of ALS/MND associations and the ENCALS, and the support of the international scientific community.


Last edition


In 2018, professor's Rickie Patani work was awarded. He is an associate at the Institute of Neurology at University College London and the Francis Crick Institute, both in the United Kingdom. Patani based his research in the relation, already recognized by the scientific community, between changes in RNA (the molecule responsible for the proteins synthesis in cells of the body) and the onset of ALS. He dedicated to reprogramming skin cells from individuals with ALS to generate neuronal cells and to identify changes in motor neurons.


This is where a discovery emerges: interactions between RNA and a specific protein, known as SFPQ, constitute a new biomarker to identify cases of familial and sporadic ALS. Dr. Patani's laboratory also analyzed mice transgenic models and man post-mortem tissue from sporadic cases of ALS, confirming the first results. The winning research opens doors to evaluate new biomarkers that cause ALS and helps the scientific community to think about new therapeutic strategies of ALS treatment.










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