Assistant Professor of Neurology Stephanie Eid, Ph.D., was given the Peter J. Dyck Prize for diabetes research by the Peripheral Nerve Society (PNS) at the close of its annual meeting, this year in Copenhagen, Denmark. The prize is the most prestigious international award given to early career researchers and recognizes ongoing contributions to the PNS mission of “improving the lives of people with peripheral neuropathies.”
“The Peter J. Dyck Prize is awarded to the top diabetes research presented during the entire conference,” explained Dr. Eid. “There was a lot of really great science, so I’m incredibly honored to receive this award.”
According to the PNS, the Rose C. and Nathan L. Milstein Family Emerging Scholar’s research was chosen because of its “impact, innovation and novelty in the field of diabetic neuropathy.” Dr. Eid explains that it takes a new approach to look at the role of Schwann cells as supporting cells for neurons.
In the past, they have been extensively studied in the context of protective and structural support, which has already implicated them as important to the health or disease of neurons.
Dr. Eid’s research examines them in an additional role as metabolic support, helping neurons meet their energy demands.
“Everything points to a major role of Schwann cells in this metabolic communication,” says Dr. Eid. “The data from our research suggests that if anything happens to Schwann cells, the metabolic support relationship they have with neurons will be compromised and lead to injury. This is what we are investigating.”
With the Peter J. Dyck Prize added to her resume, Dr. Eid is fast running out of early career awards to win for research in diabetes and neuropathy. In 2021, she received the Angelika Bierhaus Prize in basic research from the NEUROdiab, at its annual meeting, the most important event for the study of diabetic neuropathy. Then in 2022, the American Neurological Association (ANA)) presented her with the Wolfe Neuropathy Research Prize for her work in peripheral neuropathy.
“This award is a really big deal,” explains NeuroNetwork Director Dr. Eva Feldman. “Stephanie definitely deserves the honor. She is an incredible researcher, and the science is quite groundbreaking, not only for diabetic neuropathy, but for neurologic issues as well.”