The Unilever Research Prize 2015 is awarded to students from 13 different universities. There is an award for all the disciplines in which Unilever Research & Development conducts research.
Mariëlle Pruppers studied medicine in the A-KO curriculum, and is working as PhD student since her graduation in August 2016.
She was involved in clinical research from her second study year on, and has already published 4 papers, of which 3 as first author. For her study proposal “IgM Anti-MAG peripheral Neuropathy: From proper Assessment to Trial needs – (IMAGiNe study)” she received the Mazawey fellowship for Anti-MAG Research ($300.000) from Ken Singleton, Executive Director of the GBS CIDP Foundation International, USA.
For the study, conducted as part of her research participation during the study, she was awarded the Unilever Research Prize on December 1, 2016.
Her study concerns IgM anti-MAG+ peripheral neuropathy (MGUSP). MGUSP leads to functional deficit and decrement in quality of life expectations. All trials performed in this condition have been negative thus far, which leaves us with more questions to be resolved before proceeding with new treatment attempts. The possibility of repeated use of suboptimal outcome measures, low numbers of patients treated, the indolent disease course needing a longer period to capture relevant changes, or the possibility that the administered treatments were not aggressive enough have been suggested as potential factors that may have contributed to the negative results.
The study aims to 1) construct an MGUSP-specific Rasch-built overall disability scale (MGUSP-RODS), that fulfills all modern clinimetric requirements, ans is sensitive to changes over time; 2) to determine clinical and biological determinants and predictors of the disease course in MGUSP, by longitudinally examination of the natural clinical course of patients with MGUSP over at least 2 years follow-up; and 3) to create a standardized web-based registry to gather serially selected and constructed clinical endpoints, and patients demographics.
The study will be an international multi-center observational study and will include at least 250 patients. The IMAGiNe study will be the starting point for future clinical trials.