Adolf Struempell Prize winner 2021: Dr. Francesca Sardina

for her paper entitled:”Spastin recovery in hereditary spastic paraplegia by preventing neddylation-dependent degradation,”

We are pleased to award the Adolf-Struempell-Prize 2021 to Dr. Francesca Sardina for her study entitled: “Spastin recovery in hereditary spastic paraplegia by preventing neddylation-dependent degradation.”Life Science Alliance 3(12) 2020

This provides a thorough explanation of pathophysiological mechanisms underlying neuro-degeneration in type SPG4 HSP . The study performed a successful treatment attempt in a cell model and (at least partially) in a mouse model. In the paper and in the application letter, Dr. Sardina pointed out that the drug MLN4924 (Pevonedistat) was already tested in humans for other indications. That provides a perspective that a treatment attempt in humans might be possible within a few years.

Context: This year we called for the first time for applications for the Adolf-Struempell-Prize aiming to award outstanding achievements in the complex field of symptomatic and causal therapy of HSP. We were delighted by receiving eight applications from all over the world (1xAustralia, 1xBrazil, 1xFrance, 2xGermany, 2xItaly and 1xNorway). Noteworthy, 50% of applicants were female and 50% were male.

 The applications were scored by an international expert jury (1xAustria, 1xFrance, 1xItaly and 1xUK) and a fifth score was contributed by Euro-HSP as the initiator of the award. The four scoring criteria were “scientific quality”, “clarity of writing”, “expected short term benefit for patients” and “expected long term benefit for patients.” The scores clearly reflected the high scientific quality of all submissions and – defined a winner.