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Donald Paty awarded first John Dystel Prize.

Dr. Donald W. Paty, a neurologist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, whose innovative studies on the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRI, have given scientists a new view of the basic nature of multiple sclerosis, has been named winner of the first John Dystel Prize for Multiple Sclerosis Research. This is the only professional prize exclusively devoted to multiple sclerosis research, and it recognizes significant contribution, new insight, and intellectual leadership in MS research. It will be offered annually.

Dr. Paty accepted the award at the scientific session on MS at the 47th American Academy of Neurology Meeting, in Seattle, Washington this May and gave a presentation on his work to his colleagues.

"Don Paty is a highly appropriate and natural winner and his choice will be widely applauded in the MS field," said Dr. Stephen Reingold, director of Research & Medical Programs at the NMSS. The choice was made by a special joint committee of scientists and physicians appointed by the American Academy of Neurology and the National MS Society which together administer the prize.

"The Dystel Prize helps focus attention on significant advances in our field and brings issues in MS research to the attention of a wider community of clinicians and investigators in related fields. Building such connections brings us closer to our goal of understanding, controlling, and curing multiple sclerosis," Dr. Reingold said.

RELATED ARTICLE: The John Dystel Prize

The John Dystel Prize for Multiple Sclerosis Research was created in 1994 to recognize significant contributions to understanding MS. The $7,500 prize is funded by the John Dystel Multiple Sclerosis Research Fund at the National MS Society, established by Marion and Oscar Dystel in honor of their son, John, who today is seriously disabled by MS.

As a teenager in Rye, New York, in the 1960s, John Dystel was on the way to fame as a world-class figure skater, but his promising career was ended when he ruptured his Achilles tendon. He went on to distinguish himself at Brown University and Yale University Law School. Symptoms of MS developed during his last year at Yale, and he took his bar exams while virtually blind. Undeterred, John entered active law practice, becoming founding partner of a law firm in Seattle, Washington. His MS was definitely diagnosed in 1972.

In 1979, he moved to Washington, D.C., to work in the U.S. Department of Education and serve as a lobbyist for the American Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities. By 1984, John's MS prevented him from continuing to work and he returned to New York and his family.

"I watch the dramatic progress of MS research with tempered hope and great admiration for the scientific community," Oscar Dystel said recently. "The John Dystel Prize is our family's way to say thank you for the advances dedicated researchers are making toward a cure." Donations to the John Dystel Fund have come from his parents, classmates at Brown and Yale, friends, and members of the publishing industry.

RELATED ARTICLE: We're Sponsoring a Radio Show!

"Disability and Health Today"--a weekly one-hour talk program, is the first nationally syndicated radio program ever devoted to disability issues, and it is sponsored in the public interest by the National MS Society. The Society's own Robert Enteen, PhD, director of Health Research and Policy Programs, is the host.

"There are 50 million Americans with disabilities," Dr. Enteen said recently. "If you add in their family members and close friends, you have a huge group, deserving of thoughtful, practical, and entertaining material about special needs and lifestyles."

The program began broadcasting in January over the Public Radio Satellite Network which can be accessed by more than 600 public and other nonprofit radio stations across the country.

In one early show, award-winning TV producer Ron Bonn and child-development expert Kathleen McCue discussed strategies for raising children when a parent has a chronic disease. In another, Heather Whitestone, Miss America of 1995, spoke about her experiences in the hearing world. Programs on travel, sex, medical ethics, exercise, the history of the disability movement and more are planned this summer.

To tune in, telephone your local public, community, or university radio station for local broadcast times. If the station doesn't yet carry "Disability and Health Today", tell station personnel the program is available free and urge them to obtain an information kit by faxing Dr. Enteen, at the National MS Society at 212-986-7981.
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Copyright 1995, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:for multiple sclerosis research
Publication:Inside MS
Date:Jun 22, 1995
Words:738
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