Multiple Sclerosis Clinician-Scientist Development Award Winner Announced

Dr. Rachel Ventura, NYU School of Medicine, Receives New Donald W. Paty Three-Year Research Fellowship from the Foundation Supporting The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (FCMSC)


PRLog (Press Release) – Dec. 6, 2013 – HACKENSACK, N.J. — The Foundation of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (FCMSC) announced today that Rachel Ventura, MD, PhD, of New York University School of Medicine, is the first recipient of the FCMSC/EMD Serono Donald W. Paty Clinician-Scientist Development Fellowship Award. The award was created to meet the unique educational and developmental needs of translational Multiple Sclerosis (MS) research and to bridge the gap between basic and clinical science and its application to MS clinical care.

Dr. Ventura will be examining the gut microbiome of newly diagnosed MS patients versus controls to see if there is a preponderance of bacteria that may contribute to the immunological dysfunction seen in MS. Her work has important potential implications for the understanding of the pathogenesis of MS and how the disease might differ in specific populations.

I am honored to have this opportunity to do research in MS with clinical applications and multiple potential future directions, while learning more about neuro-immunology, said Dr. Ventura, This fellowship will enable me to devote time to researching the role of the microbiome in subpopulations of patients with MS.

This new fellowship award from FCMSC is in memory of Donald W. Paty, MD, FRCP, and recognizes his extensive contributions to the MS community. Dr. Paty, a co-founder of CMSC, was a world leader in MS research and clinical care for over three decades. Dr. Paty was the first recipient of the prestigious John Jay Dystel award, and his work at the University of British Columbia included important landmarks in the use of MRI as a marker for MS diagnosis and treatment.

Dr. Ventura received an AB in Physics from Harvard University and her MD, PhD, and MS from Columbia University. She completed postgraduate training at Columbia and New York University, both institution members of The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC).

The three year Donald W. Paty Clinician-Scientist Development Fellowship Award is generously funded through a grant from EMD Serono, Inc., the biopharmaceutical subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a global pharmaceutical and chemical group.

This award reflects EMD Serono’s strong commitment to helping advance the science of multiple sclerosis, stated Thorsten Eickenhorst, Chief Medical Officer, EMD Serono, Inc. We are proud to support and encourage investigators conducting cutting-edge research aimed to improve the understanding and treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Currently, there are very few funded opportunities for translational research applying basic principles in MS-related immunology, genetics and epidemiology with actual experience in clinical care, said Stephen Kamin, MD, Chair CMSC Research Committee. We are privileged to work with EMD Serono inmemorializing Dr. Paty’s pivotal work, and supporting Dr. Ventura’s important research efforts that may benefit MS patients and their care for years to come.

In addition, the new Donald W. Paty Clinician-Scientist Development Fellowship Award, the Foundation of the CMSC has funded over 200 MS Workforce of the Future projects and awards through grants and private contributions. For more information on additional scholarships and fellowships made possible by the FCMSC, please visit


About the Foundation of CMSC

The FCMSC was founded in 1999 with the mission to stimulate the growth, development and provision of patient care services, education and research in the field of MS and to enhance the quality of life of those affected by MS through supporting the activities of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers’ (CMSC). For more information visit

About CMSC

CMSC, the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers, is the leading educational, training, and networking organization for MS healthcare professionals and researchers. The CMSC mission is to promote quality MS care through educational programming and accreditation including live and online events, research grants, technical journals and papers, and targeted advocacy efforts. The CMSC member network includes more than 7,000 international healthcare clinicians and scientists committed to MS care as well as more than 60 Veterans Administration MS Programs and 225 MS Centers in the US, Canada and Europe. For more information, visit

About EMD Serono, Inc.

EMD Serono, Inc., a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is a specialized biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing therapies with groundbreaking potential. The company has strong market positions in neurology, endocrinology and in reproductive health. In addition, EMD Serono has an enduring commitment to solve the unsolvable, with state-of-the-art science dedicated to developing new therapies in our core focus areas of neurology, oncology, immuno-oncology and immunology. With a long-standing history of industry expertise and a dedication to shape the future of healthcare, the company’s US footprint continues to grow, with approximately 1,000 employees around the country and fully integrated commercial, clinical and research operations in the company’s home state of Massachusetts.

For more information, please visit

About Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is a global pharmaceutical, chemical and life science company with total revenues of € 11.2 billion in 2012, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by approx. 38,000 employees in 66 countries. Its success is characterized by innovations from entrepreneurial employees. Merck KGaA’s operating activities come under the umbrella of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in which the Merck family holds an approximately 70% interest and shareholders own the remaining approximately 30%. In 1917 the U.S. subsidiary Merck & Co. was expropriated and has been an independent company ever since.

Worldwide there are two separate companies that bear the name Merck, the original Merck KGaA from Darmstadt, Germany, the oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company in the world, and the pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. in the United States. The rights to the name and trademark MERCK in North America (USA and Canada) lie with Merck & Co., the former U.S. subsidiary of Merck, whereas Merck KGaA operates in North America under the umbrella brand EMD. In the rest of the world, Merck KGaA owns the rights to the Merck name and trademark. This press release was distributed by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

Annie Scully