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9th Paulo Gontijo International Award in Medicine will be presented at the 28th International Symposium on ALS / MND

Published: 12/01/2017



The opening of the 28th International Symposium on ALS / MND will be the delivery of the 9th Paulo Gontijo International Award in Medicine, on December 8 in Boston, United States. The winner of this 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 judgment of the PG Award of Medicine was made by the International Jurors of the IPG, made up of scientific authorities, both Brazilian and international, involved in the research of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. The International Alliance of ELA / DNM, MND Association and the European Network for the Cure of ALS (Encals) supported the award and is the only one delivered by a Brazilian entity to the international scientific community that researches the cause and cure of ALS.
Dra. Marka Van Blitterswijk will receive an exclusive gold medal produced by Brazilian jewelry designer Carla Amorim and US $ 20,000 to continue her research.




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