UCLA Health neurologist receives award for innovative multiple sclerosis research

Dr. Rhonda Voskuhl, a professor of neurology at UCLA Health, has been awarded the 2024 John Dystel Prize for Multiple Sclerosis Research in recognition of her outstanding contributions to multiple sclerosis research and treatment.

Voskuhl holds the Jack Skirball Chair in MS, is the director of the Multiple Sclerosis Program and faculty neurologist in the Comprehensive Menopause Care Program at UCLA Health. The annual award was established in 1994 by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the American Academy of Neurology, with the winner for each previous year selected from either the United States, Europe, Canada, or Australia.

“Professor Voskuhl has been a driving force in elevating our understanding of the mechanisms involved in sex differences in MS,” said executive vice president of research at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Dr. Bruce Bebo in a statement. “She is one of very few clinician-scientists who has made basic laboratory discoveries and then translated those discoveries and tested them in clinical trials to find better treatments for people with MS.”

Voskuhl will receive the award, which includes an unrestricted $40,000 prize, at the American Academy of Neurology’s 2024 Annual meeting in Denver, Colorado, on April 14.

In 2023, Voskuhl was awarded the inaugural Rachel Horne Prize for Women’s Research in MS for her work highlighting the effect of menopause on neurodegeneration and identifying potential therapies.

Voskuhl stated, “I am thankful to the AAN and NMSS for this award. It underscores the importance of research aiming to understand why neurodegenerative diseases differentially affect women versus men, thereby revealing ways to harness natural disease modifiers for discovery of neuroprotective treatments.”

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