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Johns Hopkins Physician Awarded 2015 Barancik Prize - 10/29/2015

Johns Hopkins Physician Awarded 2015 Barancik Prize

Release Date: October 29, 2015
Peter Calabresi
Peter Calabresi

Peter Calabresi, M.D., professor of neurology and director of the Johns Hopkins Multiple Sclerosis Center, was part of the team selected to receive the 2015 Barancik Prize for Innovation in Multiple Sclerosis Research awarded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The prize recognizes innovation and originality in MS research, with emphasis on the potential to lead to treatments and a cure for MS. Calabresi shares the prize with collaborators Laura Balcer, M.D., of New York University Langone Medical Center and Elliot Frohman, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. 

For close to 10 years, the team investigated the anatomy of the eye in people with MS. In their more than 50 publications, the team used optical coherence tomography, a common and easy-to-use eye scanning technique, to measure nerve damage in the eye in people with MS and to study disease mechanisms. MS, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis.

“I am very optimistic about the future of finding a treatment for MS, but I’d like to see things happen more quickly,” says Calabresi. “This is one of the reasons I am so honored and humbled to have earned the Barancik Prize. I love the fact that we won it as a team because that really symbolizes the right approach to science today, which is collaboration.”

As a clinician, Calabresi focuses on diagnosing and managing MS. He oversees several clinical trials and research projects seeking to create new anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective therapies for MS. He serves as chair of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Clinical and Translational Research Committee.