Professor Giancarlo Comi was named this week as the 2015 winner of the Charcot Award, which is a prestigious honor in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the fields of pathophysiology and treatment of Multiple Sclerosis.
Dr, Comi, who is based at the Scientific Institute San Raffaele, Milan, is one of the world’s leading neurologists who is studying Multiple Sclerosis. He studies new therapies for relapsing remitting Multiple Sclerosis and he is a pioneer in the development of disease-modifying therapies in Multiple Sclerosis.
He is now the Chairman of the Department of Neurology, and Director of the Institute of Experimental Neurology, at Vita-Salute San Raffaele University.
“I am absolutely delighted we will be giving this prize to Professor Giancarlo Comi, a leading pioneer in the development of the concept of early treatment for MS,” says Peer Baneke, the Chief Executive of the MS International Federation. “Professor Comi is the winner of our prestigious Charcot award, in recognition of a lifetime of outstanding research into MS.”
Comi was picked by an independent panel of prominent MS researchers for a lifetime of tireless commitment to MS research into new therapies and ways to monitor MS symptoms like fatigue and pain. Baneke said that he shared an article that Comi wrote about fatigue and he received many stories of personal experiences.
One person told Baneke, “I wish my family, friends and colleagues understood, that although I choose to look my best, perform my best, and be the best me possible, I suffer the fatigue described in the video, about 90% of my waking hours.”
Baneke says he has known Prof. Comi for many years. After writing and co-writing more than 800 articles in peer-reviewed journals, Comi was particularly diligent in finding new therapeutic strategies based on early interventions. Several important papers on disease-modifying drugs in patients with clinically isolated syndromes or early Multiple Sclerosis have originated from his department in Milan. Another of his important contributions has been to outline the role of cellular therapy in neuroprotection and recovery, and Professor Comi has written some guidelines for intense immunosuppression followed by autologous blood transplantation in Multiple Sclerosis. He has spoken at more than 450 conferences throughout the world.
Professor Alan Thompson, Chair of the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation’s international medical and scientific board, said “Giancarlo Comi is a true pioneer in the treatment of MS. He has been intimately involved in the development of clinical trials and has made a major contribution to the field of therapeutics over many decades.”
Professor Comi said: “It was a great emotion and honour to have been considered for this important award. I however think that it is a recognition of the work of the team of San Raffaele MS Center, which reached 30 years this year.” (See the video interview above.)