Axel Freischmidt wins ENCALS Young Investigator Award 2019

15 May 2019

Axel Freischmidt is the winner of the ENCALS Young Investigator Award 2019. Axel received the award from Prof. Ammar Al-Chalabi on the first day of the ENCALS meeting 2019 in Tours.

Axel Freischmidt receives the award from Prof. Ammar Al-Chalabi, Chair of the Award Committee

In 2012 Axel joined the Department of Neurology at Ulm University in Germany as a postdoc. Since then he has become an integral part of the ALS research landscape in Ulm, and has made multiple exciting discoveries with regard to genetics and epigenetics of ALS.

The main achievement of his career so far was the discovery of TBK1 as a novel gene causative for ALS and FTD. Besides TBK1, his research focuses on the role of microRNAs in ALS. Following up on this, he recently started to focus on converging disease mechanisms in ALS.

After the opening session on the first day of the meeting, Axel presented the submitted abstract “Serum microRNA profiles reveal an involvement of FXR1 and FXR2 in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis”

The ENCALS Young Investigator Award was designed to recognize the brightest and best young scientists in ALS, and is given for outstanding research. It is judged by the ENCALS Award Committee, an international panel of experts. Criteria include any or all of novelty, challenge to existing ideas about ALS, results with patient benefit, and impact on our understanding of ALS.

Earlier recipients of the ENCALS young investigator award were:

  1. Jan Veldink from University Medical Centre Utrecht, the Netherlands in 2011
  2. Martin Turner of Oxford University, UK in 2012
  3. Luc Dupuis from the University of Strasbourg in France in 2013
  4. Ashley Jones from Kings College London in 2014
  5. Edor Kabashi, ICM, Paris in 2015
  6. Francesco Pagnini, Catholic University of Milan in 2016
  7. Jonathan Cooper-Knock, the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience in 2017
  8. Russell McLaughlin from Trinity College Dublin in 2018

All of these high profile researchers have been continuously dedicated to ALS research and strengthen the ENCALS network with their involvement in international research collaboration.