Medical Award for Markus Schwaninger and Nina Wettschureck


Scientists from the University of Lübeck and the Max Planck Institute in Bad Nauheim are honored for their research on the mechanisms of action of a new therapy for multiple sclerosis


Markus Schwaninger of the Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Lübeck and Nina Wettschureck from the Max-Planck-Institute for Heart and Lung Research in Bad Nauheim have recently obtained the "Novartis Prize for therapy-related pharmacological research" for their discovery of the mechanisms of action of a new registered drug for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. The prize is endowed with 10,000 EUR. The two physicians received the award on 12 March 2015 during the annual conference of the German Society for Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology (DGPT) in Kiel.

In their research project Schwaninger and Wettschureck had examined the mode of action of dimethyl fumarate in multiple sclerosis. The drug has been approved about a year ago for the basic therapy of multiple sclerosis after its efficacy has been demonstrated in clinical trials.

The two scientists found that dimethyl fumarate exerts its protective effect through a specific receptor on the surface of white blood cells and thereby prevents immune cells from migrating into the central nervous system and attacking nerve cells. The knowledge gained in Schwaninger’s and Wettschureck’s study could provide an important basis for the development of new therapeutics. For this work, they have now been honored by the Novartis Foundation for Therapeutic Research.

The study was funded by the EU project nEUROinflammation (FP7, no. 607962) and the German Research Foundation (SFB TR-128)

Original Publication:
Hui Chen, Julian C. Assmann, Antje Krenz, Mahbubur Rahman, Myriam Grimm, Christian M. Karsten, Jörg Koehl, Stefan Offermanns, Nina Wettschureck, Markus Schwaninger: Hydroxycarboxylic acid receptor 2 mediates dimethyl fumarate's protective effect in EAE. The Journal of Clinical Investigation. doi: 10.1172 / JCI72151

[Translate to english:] Links: Nina Wettschureck; Rechts: Markus Schwaninger