2023 Charcot Award winner Xavier Montalban

Professor Xavier Montalban (CEMCAT, Vall d'Hebron) wins the prestigious MSIF Charcot Award


MSIF is thrilled to announce that Professor Xavier Montalban, Director of CEMCAT, Multiple Sclerosis Center of Catalonia, Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain, is the winner of the 2023 Charcot Award. The award recognises a lifetime of achievement in outstanding research into understanding and treating MS.

A world-leader with tremendous impact

Professor Xavier Montalban, M.D., PhD, FAAN, FEAN, FCAHS, has made tremendous impact on many areas of MS research and clinical care over his decades long career, devoted to improving the quality of life of people with MS, particularly progressive forms of the disease.

He has studied various aspects of MS, such as conducting clinical trials, understanding how the disease affects patients, using MRI to assess the disease and predict its progression, identifying biological factors that can predict how the disease will develop and respond to treatment, studying the immune system’s role in the disease, and exploring different ways to manage and treat MS.

Steering the development of clinical guidelines and driving crucial clinical trials

Professor Montalban has helped to developed the MAGNIMS consensus guidelines, the MRI criteria for the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. His involvement was instrumental in developing the 2010 and 2017 McDonald criteria. He was integral to the development and conduction of key clinical trials, including those for Ocrelizumab and Fingolimod in relapsing and progressive MS, to name a few.

An instrumental figure in the global leadership

He has led, served on, and founded numerous esteemed national and international scientific and funding boards and committees, which includes his former role as Chair of MSIF’s International Medical and Scientific Board. He is the former President of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS). Dr Montalban is a member of the International Panel on Multiple Sclerosis Diagnostic Criteria and Clinical Trials and Editor for Clinical cases of the Multiple Sclerosis Journal. He is a member of the Board of the European Charcot Foundation. He has been a mentor to many accomplished MS specialists and a fervent advocate for the voice of people affected by MS on a global scale.

Professor Montalban has been a member of the Scientific Steering Committee of the International Progressive Multiple Sclerosis Alliance since its inception in 2013. The Alliance – of which MSIF is a founding member – has brought together international experts to encourage and enable advances in new treatments for progressive MS and has a direct impact in raising the profile of progressive MS and increasing the quantity of research in the area internationally.

Professor Montalban said:

‘I am truly honoured and humbled to be the recipient of the 2023 Charcot Award. I would like to thank the MSIF, one of the world leading Institutions in MS which I have felt a strong attachment to for the whole of my career. This award indeed marks the top of one’s career of thirty years in which we have gone from a horizon with no treatments, no way out, to the most advanced drugs that today clearly are instrumental in making the journey of people living with MS much less harmful. Thus, most cases of MS are turned into a chronic disease of the CNS. Such improvement results in quality of life and expectancy within the average of the general population. This is what the Charcot Award really celebrates.’

Accolades from IMSB Chair and Deputy Chair

Professor Brenda Banwell, Chair of the MSIF International Medical and Scientific Board (IMSB) and Professor Jorge Correale, Deputy Chair of the MSIF IMSB said:

‘Professor Xavier Montalban is a very deserving recipient of the Charcot Award, honoring lifetime achievement in multiple sclerosis care and research. Professor Montalban has led a world-class MS center (CEMCAT), has led numerous clinical trials, has contributed pivotal insights into the imaging features of MS, and has served as the Chair of the International Medical and Scientific Board of the MSIF. In all of these roles, he has collaborated extensively and is valued colleague to our entire community.’