Newswise — A personal drive to help advance knowledge of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) has led to Dr. Sabrina Paganoni being named winner of the 2019 American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) Scientific Impact Award for work in physical medicine and rehabilitation (PMR) science.

The AANEM is the premier nonprofit membership association dedicated to the advancement of knowledge, education, and technology in the fields of neuromuscular (NM), musculoskeletal (MSK), and electrodiagnostic (EDX) medicine. Its annual Achievement Award winners highlight prolific members of AANEM and their contributions to advancing these fields of medicine.

Dr. Paganoni’s award was for her work on the December 2017 article published in the scientific journal Muiscle & Nerve titled “Phase IIa Trial of Fingolimod for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Demonstrates Acceptable Acute Safety and Tolerability.”

The title of the article only tells part of the story. Dr. Paganoni’s drive to study ALS began with her mentor, physician scientist Dr. Lisa Krivickas, who worked with Dr. Paganoni even while she was afflicted with ALS and her condition deteriorated. She eventually passed away, leaving behind a mentee with a strong desire to help others conquer this crippling ailment.

“I am incredibly honored to be the recipient of the AANEM Scientific Impact (PMR) Award. I focused the first years of my career as a physician scientist on developing expertise in the development of innovative trial designs that can accelerate the path to effective treatments for ALS,” Dr. Paganoni said. “My career goals today stay true to that mission. I am excited to be the Co-Principal Investigator of the HEALEY ALS Platform Trial, which is poised to transform the way we test investigational products for ALS.”

The platform trial approach is designed to accelerate the research process by testing multiple therapies simultaneously, allowing a quicker path to cures and treatments.

Dr. Paganoni received her medical degree from the University of Milan, Italy, and her doctorate in neuroscience from Northwestern University. She completed her PMR residency at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital/Harvard Medical School, a clinical fellowship in neuromuscular medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, and an ALS clinical research fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Paganoni currently works as an Assistant Professor in PM&R at Harvard Medical School, a PM&R physician at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, a physician scientist at the Healey Center for ALS at Massachusetts General Hospital, and as an EMG laboratory physician for the Boston VA Healthcare System. She is the Director of Electrodiagnostic Medicine Didactic Curriculum and the Co-Director of Neuromuscular Medicine Didactic Curriculum for the PM&R residency program at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. Dr. Paganoni serves as a Consulting Physician for the A.P. Cellucci ALS Registry of Massachusetts and on the Advisory Board for the CMT Association. Dr. Paganoni has been a member of AANEM since 2010 and serves as an editorial board member for Muscle & Nerve and the American Journal of PM&R where she is also Associate Editor for the Section Evidence-Based Physiatry/Cochrane Corner.  She has published more than 70 peer-reviewed papers.

To learn more about AANEM and its Achievement Award winners, visit

About American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM)

Based in Rochester, Minnesota, the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) is the premier nonprofit membership association dedicated to the advancement of neuromuscular (NM), musculoskeletal and electrodiagnostic (EDX) medicine. The organization and its members work to improve the quality of patient care and advance the science of NM diseases and EDX medicine by serving physicians and allied health professionals who care for those with muscle and nerve disorders.

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