A Mayo Clinic doctor is being recognized for her landmark research into multiple sclerosis.

The National MS Society and the American Academy of Neurology have announced the 2016 John Dystel Prize for Multiple Sclerosis Research is being awarded to Dr. Claudia Lucchinetti. A statement says Dr. Lucchinetti is one of only a few neurologists in the world with expertise in neuroinflammation, and her research has led to paradigm shifts in our understanding a multiple sclerosis and similar diseases.

Her research has focused on the mechanisms of demyelination, which is damage to the protective covering surrounding nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. By collecting and analyzing MS lesion brain biopsies over the past two decades, Dr. Lucchinetti has created the world’s largest tissue bank of MS lesions during her search for effective treatments.

“As someone who has worked side-by-side with Dr. Lucchnietti, I can say first-hand that she is a thought leader sought out by colleagues around the world,” says John Noseworthy, M.D., president and CEO of Mayo Clinic, and a neurologist with expertise in MS. “Her expertise not only advances our understanding of the disease, but also moves the field forward to the benefit of patients at Mayo Clinic and people everywhere.”

The award includes a $15,000 prize, which will be awarded to Dr. Lucchinetti during the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting in Vancouver next week.

It marks the second time a Mayo Clinic researcher has received the prestigious honor. Dr. Brian Weinshenker was honored in 2011 for his groundbreaking findings related to the diagnosis and treatment of MS.