MICHAEL-Prize – Award Winner 2017

The Michael-Prize 2017

The 2017 Michael-Prize was awarded to

 

Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital

Montreal (Canada)

 

Dr. Boris Bernhardt

Dr. Bernhardt is an outstanding researcher who is a valuable and esteemed member of our research community due to his innovations in epilepsy, MR image processing and analysis. He has been internationally recognized through his important discoveries, and his influential publications in most respected scientific journals.

Laudatio

Dr. Bernhardt is an outstanding researcher who is a valuable and esteemed member of our research community due to his innovations in epilepsy, MR image processing and analysis. He has been internationally recognized through his important discoveries, and his influential publications in most respected scientific journals.

Clinical and basic research strengths are still too often disconnected from one another. Building on emerging evidence from experimental and patient studies, Dr. Bernhardt and co-workers from the Montreal Neurological Institute are pioneers in the application and development of advanced imaging methodology in patients with refractory epilepsy.

Dr Bernhardt’s novel experimental paradigms and corresponding protocols not only helped to cut new methodological ground in the repeated and reliable measurement of subtle structures in pharmaco-resistant patients undergoing resective surgery, but lately provided the experimental basis for novel approaches, such MRI-based patient classification and prognostics.

Dr Bernhardt applied a system approach to understand the epileptic brain. He successfully completed numerous studies aimed at characterizing patterns of neocortical structural compromise. The work selected for the Michael Prize (Bernhardt BC, Bernasconi A, Hong S, Liu M, Caldairou B, Guiot MC, Hall J, Bernasconi N (2016) Structure-Function phenotypes in temporal lobe epilepsy.

Annals of Neurology, 80(1):142-53.) is of particular interest for tracking disease progression and its consequences on brain plasticity, connectivity and cognition. Here, Dr Bernhardt employed a novel neuroimaging framework to identify structural and functional signatures of TLE.

In his other selected publications, Dr Bernhardt's work suggests considerable heterogeneity within electro-clinically defined syndromes, but also overlaps across them. (Annals of Neurology 2015) In an earlier publication (Cerebral Cortex 2011) he introduced graph-theory, a formal framework to model network properties, to imaging of epilepsy. In this and consecutive papers, he showed disruptions in large-scale cortico-cortical networks and was able to relate pre-operative network parameters to seizure outcome after surgery, thereby suggesting that patterns of brain connectivity may have clinical diagnostic value.

In conclusion, Dr. Bernhardt has made multiple original contributions of major significance to the area of neuroimaging in epilepsy, which makes him a worthy holder of the Michael Prize 2017.

 

Michael-Prize Award Winner 2017
Dr. Boris Bernhardt
The prize money of € 20.000 was kindly donated by UCB. The Michael Prize 2017 was officially awarded at the 32th International Epilepsy Congress in Barcelona (September 2 - 6, 2017).