MSIF has awarded the 2018 Young Investigators Award to Dr Silke Häusser-Kinzel, in recognition of her research into the characteristics of B cells (a type of white blood cell).
The Young Investigators Award is given for the best oral presentation of a ‘translational’ project (i.e. research that is designed to improve health and wellbeing) by a young researcher at the annual congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research into Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS), which was held in Berlin, Germany this year.
The winner, who receives a £1,500 prize, is selected by a panel appointed by the MS International Federation.
Dr Häusser-Kinzel’s presentation was titled “Immunological phenotyping identifies MS patients with accentuated immune cell activation upon anti-CD20 treatment”. In MS, B cells can cause inflammation and lead to relapses and lesions of the central nervous system. New therapies such as ocrelizumab remove certain B cells that express a specific marker, called CD20. Some patients respond well to this type of anti-CD20 treatment, while others experience an enhanced immune response. Dr Häusser-Kinzel’s ongoing research studies the characteristics of B cells and aims to show that it is possible to predict which patients are likely to benefit from receiving anti-CD20 treatment.