Ophthalmology Award

Praveena Manogaran and Christine Walker have developed a new model with which substances can be tested to protect the vision of MS patients in the future. For this they have received the Swiss OpthAWARD.

Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory and neurodegenerative autoimmune disease of the central nervous system, which in 20-30 % of cases leads to visual impairment. Recent studies show that MS patients classify vision as their most important bodily function. Yet, the only currently available treatment is high-dose corticosteroids.

Praveena Manogaran and Christine Walker-Egger from the MINDS research group (Multimodal Imaging in Neuroimmunological Diseases) under the direction of Prof. Sven Schippling used optical coherence tomography (OCT), structural and quantitative magnetic resonance imaging and histological examinations, to assess neurodegenerative processes in the visual pathway in the mouse model of MS (EAE). The study for which they have received the OpthAWARD was published in the July 2018 issue of Neuroimage.

In their report, the jury wrote that the use of the combination of these techniques, which are already available in the clinic, can serve as an effective instrument for the development of substances with neuroprotective or neuro-regenerative potential and thus help to close an important gap in MS therapy.

The researchers were awarded during the Swiss Society of Ophthalmology (SOG-SSO) in Interlaken, end of August.

The SWISS OphthAWARD for researchers in the field of visual systems is intended to reward the basic and clinical research activities of scientists up to the age of 44. The SOG-SSO is responsible for the implementation, evaluation and awarding of prizes. See website

Exploring experimental autoimmune optic neuritis using multimodal imaging. Manogaran P, Walker-Egger C, Samardzija M, Waschkies C, Grimm C, Rudin M, Schippling S. Neuroimage. 2018 Jul 15;175:327-339. PubMed Abstract