Professor John Prineas -
John Prineas is both a treasured resource and an inspiration to all involved in
the investigation of MS", said Professor Bill Carroll, Chairman of MS
Research Australia's Research Review Board and Research Management Council.
Prineas was the 2009 winner of the Multiple Sclerosis International
Federation’s (MSIF) prestigious biennial Charcot Award for a lifetime
achievement in research into the understanding or treatment of multiple
Professor Prineas was selected from an outstanding field of candidates by an
international panel of experts from MSIF’s International Medical and Scientific
Board, chaired by Professor Alan Thompson.
“The Charcot Award recognizes a life-time contribution to the world of MS and
there could be no more deserving recipient,” said Professor Thompson. “John
Prineas has made a unique contribution to our understanding of the pathology of
multiple sclerosis – over a number of decades, collaborating with colleagues on
a truly global scale.”
Professor Prineas graduated in Medicine with honours from the University of
Sydney in 1958 and his outstanding career has spanned three continents. He is
currently an Honorary Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University
of Sydney and a Visiting Professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine,
New York. His research activities throughout have been directed at
understanding the pathogenesis of peripheral and central demyelinating
As well as the Charcot Award, Professor Prineas’ work has been
recognized by a number of other national and international awards including
awards from the American Association of Neuropathologists (Weil Award, Moore
Award) and the American Neurological Association (Dystel Prize).
The Charcot Award recognizes a life-time of outstanding contribution to MS
research, Professor Prineas having been at the forefront of neuropathology in
MS. His recent findings of sick and dying cells in the early stages of MS,
prior to the autoimmune response, have revolutionized the world-wide
understanding of the disease, providing hope for new therapies which include
the potential to repair the neural damage.
“These are especially interesting times for the many investigators currently
studying tissue changes in the brain and spinal cord in multiple sclerosis,”
said Professor John Prineas. “Because of the multitude of new and unexpected
findings that have been reported in recent years, we are now in the process of
re-writing the basis of our understanding of the nature of tissue injury and
repair in the disease.”
“The MSIF Charcot Award for 2009 honours not only my contribution to a
particular body of work, and for this I am most grateful, but also the efforts
of colleagues with whom I have worked for many years, our patients, and the
universities, MS societies and other institutions that have supported this
Professor Prineas is the first Australian to win this prestigious Award and is
the recipient of a Project Grant, along with Dr Michael Barnett and Dr Ben
Crussett, in the Trish Foundation’s current round of funding.
“Our research funds are certainly in very capable hands,” said Trish Foundation
Chairman Carol Langsford.
“Professor Prineas is now presenting information that is changing the course of
MS research and he is presenting it in ways that are both profound and
inspirational,” said Jeremy Wright, Executive Director of MS Research
The Trish Foundation is very proud and honoured to be funding such a
distinguished and eminent scientist.