Harvard Professor Francisco Quintana Wins 2019 Barancik Prize for Innovation in MS Research

Professor Francisco Quintana to receive 2019 Prize for work toward understanding what triggers multiple sclerosis and how to stop it.

Francisco J. Quintana, Ph.D., a leading multiple sclerosis researcher at the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, is the winner of the 2019 Barancik Prize for Innovation in MS Research.

Quintana has established innovative research programs that use advanced technology to make significant contributions to the understanding of the immune response and to identify potential therapeutic targets and biomarkers for MS. He recently developed a new research platform to identify gene-environment interactions that control central nervous system inflammation that drives the damage that occurs in MS. The studies identified novel pathways involved in the regulation of this inflammation. Moreover, these studies map out a novel way to systematically investigate environmental factors in MS and other diseases.

“I am deeply honored to be selected for the Barancik Prize, and thank the Award Committee for recognizing our work,” said Quintana.

“Professor Quintana collaborates on a global scale to apply creative approaches to very complex questions about what triggers brain inflammation in multiple sclerosis and to find ways to stop it,” said Bruce Bebo, Ph.D., executive vice president at the National MS Society, which administers the award. “He has earned the Barancik Prize for being highly resourceful in applying advanced technologies to make progress toward developing new treatment approaches, especially for progressive forms of MS.”

Quintana earned a diploma in biology from the University of Buenos Aires and adoctorate in immunology from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. He completed his postdoctoral training at the Weizmann Institute and at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is a Professor of Neurology at the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases, an Associate Member at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, and incoming president of the International Society of Neuroimmunology. His awards are numerous, including Young Investigator Awards in Ireland and Italy, a Pathway to Independence Award from NIAID/NIH, and recipient of a National MS Society Harry Weaver Scholar Award. He has trained more than 30 young investigators, and participates in several programs focused on training scientists from underrepresented minorities.

Quintana will receive the award and deliver the Barancik Prize lecture at the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) Forum on Feb. 27 in West Palm Beach, Florida.

About the Barancik Prize for Innovation in MS Research 
The Barancik Prize seeks to recognize and encourage exceptional innovation and originality in scientific research relevant to multiple sclerosis, with emphasis on impact and potential of the research to lead to pathways for the treatment and cure for MS, and scientific accomplishments that merit recognition as a future leader in MS research. The international prize is administered through the National MS Society and made possible by the generosity of the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation.


About Multiple Sclerosis 
Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. There is currently no cure for MS. Symptoms vary from person to person and range from numbness and tingling, to mobility challenges, blindness and paralysis. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50 and it affects women three times more than men.

About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society 
The National MS Society, founded in 1946, funds cutting-edge research, drives change through advocacy, and provides programs and services to help people affected by MS live their best lives. Connect to learn more and get involved: nationalMSsociety.org, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or 1-800-344-4867.

Media Contact: Gena Hyde 
[email protected] 713-962-0420

“Professor Quintana collaborates on a global scale to apply creative approaches to very complex questions about what triggers brain inflammation in multiple sclerosis and to find ways to stop it,” said Bruce Bebo, Ph.D.,National MS Society.