Dr. Daniel Reich, a researcher with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has been recognized for his pioneering work on brain imaging to advance both the treatment of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and scientific understanding of the disease.
Reich, a neurologist, neuro-radiologist and neuroscientist, was awarded the 2016 Barancik Prize for Innovation in MS Research by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The honor recognizes exceptional research of relevance to MS, with an emphasis on work with a potential to lead to better treatments and a cure.
“I work on multiple sclerosis, and I do that by using MRI [magnetic resonance imaging] machines to take pictures of the brain, and the spinal cord,” Reich, director of the Translational Neuroradiology Section of the Division of Neuro-immunology and Neurovirology of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), said in a Society press release. “That’s opened new doors into understanding how we might treat it, and prevent the disease.”
Working with MS patients, Reich and his research team have developed and analyzed an imaging approach that can detect inflammation in the meninges, the tissue layer that surrounds the brain.
This work has led to several significant observations, the MS society said in its release, including evidence of two major patterns of lesion evolution that can help determine the ultimate degree of tissue damage or recovery in patients. The approach is being considered for clinical trials that will evaluate MS therapies focused on myelin repair.
“Dr. Reich’s novel approaches to imaging disease activity in people with multiple sclerosis are creating new pathways to better treatments,” said Timothy Coetzee, the National MS Society’s chief advocacy, services and research officer.
“Winning the Barancik Prize means a lot to me as a researcher,” Reich said. “I’m really thrilled the committee found our work interesting, promising, and innovative.”
The Barancik Prize, made possible through the Charles and Margery Barancik SO Foundation and administered by the society, accepts applications worldwide from investigators active in MS research, from any institution or organization, public, private, governmental or non-governmental.