“Imaging Biomarkers of Progression in Multiple Sclerosis"
Martina Absinta, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Martina Absinta is a neurologist with an international PhD in Molecular Medicine. At the NINDS/NIH (2012-2019, under the mentorship of Dr. Daniel S. Reich), she dedicated her research work to ultra-high-field 7T MRI–neuropathology correlations in multiple sclerosis, and related identification of novel imaging biomarkers of chronic inflammation (with special focus on microglia-mediated and leptomeningeal inflammation). Starting 2019, she became faculty at Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, US), and more recently she established her own research group at the Institute of Experimental Neurology, Division of Neuroscience at Vita-Salute San Raffaele University Hospital (Milan, Italy).
In the last few years, her work highlighted the clinical relevance of chronic inflammation and chronic active lesions in driving clinical progression in multiple sclerosis and prompted for the planning of novel-designed MRI-based clinical trials aimed at treating such perilesional chronic inflammation. To better understand the immunological mechanism operating at the chronic active lesion edge and to identify new therapeutical targets, she recently built a detailed cellular blueprint of multiple sclerosis lesions using single-nucleus RNA sequencing of human MS tissue and identified C1q as critical mediator of microglia activation.
Over the years, her research has been supported by the National MS Society, the Conrad Hilton Foundation, the Roche Foundation, the Cariplo Foundation, Fondazione Regionale per la Ricerca Biomedica, and the International Progressive MS Alliance. Her scientific work has been published in high impact scientific journals, including Nature, Nature Reviews Neurology, JCI, eLife, and JAMA Neurology. She is the recipient of the 2021 Rita-Levi Montalcini Prize from the Italian MS Society and the 2022 Young Physician-Scientist Award from the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI).