Rickie Patani wins 2018 Paulo Gontijo Award

1 October 2018

The 9th Paulo Gontijo International Award in Medicine was awarded to Dr Rickie Patani (M.D., Ph.D.), Associate Professor at UCL’s Institute of Neurology and The Francis Crick Institute (UK). He is a Consultant Neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology (Queen Square, UK).


Dr. Patani’s laboratory uses human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and developmentally-rationalised directed differentiation to generate clinically relevant populations of neuronal and glia. Dr. Patani’s work emphasizes the importance of interdisciplinarity and team science, integrating stem cell biology, developmental biology, neuropathology, bioinformatics and RNA biology. His research specifically focuses on two main areas: i) how abnormalities in RNA transcript structure lead to aberrant RNA-protein interactions to cause ALS and ii) how astrocytes conspire with motor neurons to cause ALS. By validating primary findings (from ALS patient-specific iPSCs) in mouse transgenic models and human post-mortem tissue from sporadic ALS cases, Dr Patani aims to translate high confidence discovery science into new therapeutic strategies, which are desperately needed in ALS.

The award

The judgment of the PG Medical Award was made by the International Jurors of the IPG, composed of scientific authorities, both Brazilian and international, involved in the research of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. The award is supported by the International Alliance of ELA / DNM, MND Association and the European Network for the Cure of ALS – (ENCALS) and is the only one delivered by a Brazilian entity to the international scientific community that researches the cause and cure of SHE.
IPG is proud of its previous year’s award recipients who continue to participate in important projects impacting international research that seek the cause and cure of ALS. The PG award is also a way of recognizing IPG’s creator, Paulo Gontijo, who is affected by the disease and tireless in the search for his cure.