Professor Robin Franklin to receive the 2017 Barancik Prize for pioneering work to restore function for people with progressive MS
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.
Read more about the Barancik Prize and previous winners