• Press Release

Mount Sinai Researcher Awarded Second Annual Bachmann-Strauss Prize for Excellence in Dystonia Research from Michael J. Fox Foundation

  • New York, NY
  • (November 15, 2016)

Susan Bressman, MD, Chair of the Department of Neurology at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, and Laurie Ozelius, PhD, Associate Neuroscientist and Associate Professor of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, are recipients of the second annual Bachmann-Strauss Prize for Excellence in Dystonia Research from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF). The researchers, who have collaborated for 30 years, were chosen for their work in dystonia genetics.

“Drs. Bressman and Ozelius have made invaluable contributions to the field of dystonia research, an under-funded movement disorder and an under-recognized symptom of Parkinson’s disease,” said Bonnie Strauss, who founded The Bachmann-Strauss Dystonia & Parkinson Foundation, which launched a collaborative research alliance with MJFF in 2015.

Michael J. Fox and MJFF senior vice president of research programs Brian Fiske, PhD, presented the prizes to Drs. Bressman and Ozelius at a ceremony in New York City on November 12, 2016.

The Bachmann-Strauss Prize for Excellence in Dystonia Research acknowledges dystonia researchers for key scientific discoveries and incentivizes the next generation of investigators to continue making inroads toward cures.

Drs. Bressman and Ozelius’s research has led to the identification of three primary or isolated dystonia genes, and they have built a repository of thousands of genes associated with dystonia. Their work also has yielded innovative imaging studies in families with these genetic associations.

“Dystonia is the third most common movement disorder and has significant impact on the lives of those diagnosed and their families,” said Dr. Bressman. “Dr. Ozelius and I are honored to be recognized with the Bachmann-Strauss Prize and even more so to be able to add to our understanding of this condition and, hopefully, its treatment.”

Dr. Ozelius said, “We look forward to continuing our research serving this patient population with the support of the Prize. The complexities of neurological conditions require much unraveling but also present many opportunities to intervene and stop the process.”

The award is accompanied by an unrestricted research grant of $100,000 to support a joint research effort. Drs. Bressman and Ozelius plan to build upon their genetic findings to understand dystonia pathophysiology and inform the development of new therapeutics.

The Prize committee was chaired by Mitchell Brin, MD, senior vice president of global drug development and chief scientific officer for BOTOX® at Allergan, and included Bonnie Strauss and experts in neuroscience research.

To learn more about the contributions of these researchers, please click on the video.

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The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services—from community-based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.

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