Announcing 2022 Benson Fellowship Awardee

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Announcing 2022 Benson Fellowship Awardee, Elba Pascual Goñi MD, PhD

The Benson Fellowship is a three-year fellowship that provides an opportunity for scientists to engage in peripheral nerve of study. The Fellowship provides funds of up to $150,000 for three years, but only one Benson fellowship is awarded every three year period. We are pleased to announce the 2022 Benson Fellowship Awardee, Elba Pascual-Goñi MD, PhD.  

Dr. Pascual-Goñi is a neurologist and carries out patient care and translational research tasks in the field of inflammatory neuropathies in the Neuromuscular Diseases Unit of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau (Barcelona). She has recently completed her PhD at Dr Querol’s Lab on antibodies in CIDP. She is responsible for the co-coordination of the INCbase Spain network and she is currently investigating biomarkers and wearable devices to monitor CIDP.

Dr. Pascual-Goñi’s study will focus on optimal biomarkers and clinical outcome measures for CIDP. A description of her research study is as follows:

CIDP includes a wide spectrum of chronic autoimmune diseases of the peripheral nerves with diverse clinical features, responses to treatment and prognosis. CIDP is caused by an autoimmune attack against peripheral nerve structures, however the triggers and mechanisms of this process are not well understood. Antibodies causing nerve damage were recently identified in small subgroups of CIDP patients. These antibodies have proven useful for classifying CIDP patients according to their underlying immune mechanisms.

Optimal biomarkers and clinical outcome measures to measure nerve damage and response to treatment are lacking. Finding biomarkers that inform about nerve status and more precise tools to monitor the clinical status of patients in daily clinical practice is crucial to optimize patient care and clinical research.

This research study aims to investigate new biomarkers in CIDP, including antibodies informing about underlying autoimmune processes and nerve-damage biomarkers informing about nerve status. Also, a novel wearable system assessing, posture, gait and motion will be used to monitor clinical status and response to treatment in CIDP patients. This project will provide better tools to assess disease status and treatment effect and, ultimately, more precision in neurological assessment that help improve patient care.

Find more information on the GBS|CIDP Foundation International Research Grant Program.