In the Spotlight

Awards and Honors

2016 AAAS fellow

Larry became an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS) for his discoveries about the molecular basis for lymphocyte homing to the brain in relapsing multiple sclerosis, which led to an effective approved therapy for MS.

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2016 Cerami Award

The Feinstein Institute and its Molecular Medicine journal presented the 5th Anthony Cerami Award in Translational Medicine to Larry.  The award celebrates and commemorates the unique attributes of insight, genius, and resolve that are at the heart of the discovery process.

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2015 National Academy of Sciences

Congratulations to Larry, a newly elected 2015 National Academy of Sciences Member, in recognition of his distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

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2011 Charcot Award

The Charcot Award is a biennial award that recognizes a lifetime achievement in research into the understanding or treatment of multiple sclerosis.  Larry received the award in 2011, and he was invited to give the Charcot Lecture at the European Committee of Treatment and Research in MS (ECTRIMS) meeting in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

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2009 NAS Institute of Medicine

The Institute of Medicine is an honorary society established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences.  Members are elected through a highly selective process that recognizes contributions to the medical sciences, health care, and public health.  Congratulations Larry!

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2008 Endowed Professorship

Lawrence Steinman, MD, professor of neurology and neurological sciences , and of pediatrics, and, by courtesy, of genetics, has been appointed the George A. Zimmermann Professor.

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2004 John Dystel Prize

The Dystel Prize is sponsored by the American Academy of Neurology and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.  Larry was recognized for his major contributions to our understanding of animal models of MS, and for his translating these findings to the clinical development of novel therapuetic strategies for MS.

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1994 Dr. Freidrich-Sasse Award

From the Free University of Berlin, this prize was awarded to Larry for his outstanding contributions in immunology.

1979 S. Weir Mitchell Award

Sponsored by the American Brain Foundation and endowed by the Alliance Founders and S. Weir Mitchell Permanent Endowment, this American Academy of Neurology award is designed to encourage basic research in neuroscience by physicians in clinical neurology training programs.

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Cheers to 30 Years!

Congratulations to Larry and retired lab manager Mae Lim for celebrating 30 successful years of hard work together at Stanford (1980-2010).

The real deal!

Larry's first official MLB foul ball at AT&T Park.

In the News

Scientists Identify "Velcro-like" molecule to potentially treat ALS

Lawrence Steinman MD, and former post-doctoral scholar, Bahareh Ajami PhD, recently identified a molecule that could be targeted by drug developers to treat ALS.  The protein, alpha 5 integrin, is related to another integrin (alpha 4), a type of protein that helps immune cells move and bind to their surrounding, like Velcro.

Study identifies how Epstein-Barr virus triggers multiple sclerosis

A 2022 study in collaboration with former lab members William Robinson MD PhD, and Tobias Lanz MD, found that a part of the Epstein-Barr virus mimics a protein made in the brain and spinal cord, leading the immune system to mistakenly attack the body's nerve cells.

What we can learn in COVID-19 in kids

Lawrence Steinman, MD, discusses what we can learn from COVID-19 in kids in a new 2020 paper published in the Proceeding of National Academy of Sciences.

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Advanced cell-labeling technology identifies suspect cell type, possible new therapeutic approach to MS

A 2018 study published in Nature Neuroscience using an advanced cell-labeling technology, CyTOF, identifies a new cell surface molecule, absent on both T and B cells, as a superior target for MS therapy.

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Scientists engineer way to prevent immune response to gene therapy in mice

A 2018 study gives Stanford researchers hope that they may have solved a big problem plaqueing gene therapy: the prospect of an autoimmune attack.

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Nicotine-mimicking drugs could help treat inflammatory diseases

Stanford researchers discovered that a receptor that binds to nicotine and to clusters of beta-amyloid molecules is found on certain types of immune cells that can act as suppressors and regulators of the immune system.

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Path to a Breakthrough

This new WebMD series, hosted by Good Morning America's Robin Roberts, sheds light on how medical innovations, including precision medicine, immunotherapy, and biologics, are providing doctors with powerful new tools to treat disease. Christopher Lock, clinical associate professor of neurology, and Lawrence Steinman, the George A. Zimmermann Professor, professor of pediatrics, and professor of neurology, are featured in a segment on treating multiple sclerosis patients with biologics – complex drugs made in living cells that are chemically and genetically engineered.

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Lucky Larry

Lawrence Steinman, MD, the George A. Zimmerman Professor and a professor of pediatrics at Stanford, is a visionary in the field of neurology. This is the story of Dr. Steinman’s scientific journey. 

Lucky Larry: Reflections on a career in immunology and neurology.  By Becky Bach on June 22, 2016.

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Researchers link Pandemrix flu vaccinations to narcolepsy

An international team of researchers has found evidence that the GlaxoSmithKline Pandemrix flu vaccination – which was widely distributed during the 2009 swine flu pandemic – may have caused rare cases of narcolepsy. Steinman described this finding as a “first step” in their pursuit to nail down the cause of narcolepsy.

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Immune response to a flu protein yields new insights into narcolepsy

A swine flu vaccine may have caused rare cases of narcolepsy by stimulating antibodies to attack brain cells that help regulate sleep.

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Does Amyloid Kill in Alzheimer's, Heal in MS?

Two groups have recently made strides with amyloid beta, the supposed main villain in Alzheimer’s disease. But while one group is tackling Alzheimer’s by reducing amyloid beta, the other is tackling multiple sclerosis (MS) by using amyloid beta. “It’s all fascinating,” Stanford University neurologist Lawrence Steinman told Bioscience Technology.

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DNA 'reverse' vaccine reduces levels of immune cells believed responsible for type-1 diabetes, study shows

A 2013 clinical trial of a vaccine, led by Stanford University School of Medicine researchers and designed to combat type-1 diabetes, has delivered initially promising results, suggesting that it may selectively counter the errant immune response that causes the disease.

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Accused of complicity in Alzheimer's, amyloid proteins may be getting a bad rap, study finds

A pair of research studies in 2013 from the Stanford University School of Medicine sets a solid course toward rehabilitating the reputation of the proteins that form amyloid tangles, or plaques. In the process, they appear poised to turn the field of neurobiology on its head.

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Researchers discover reviled substance involved in Alzheimer's can reverse paralysis in mice with multiple sclerosis

A molecule widely assailed as the chief culprit in Alzheimer’s disease unexpectedly reverses paralysis and inflammation in several distinct animal models of a different disorder — multiple sclerosis, Stanford University School of Medicine researchers have found.

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Cystamine as a potential treatment for Huntington's Disease

Earlier research has also shown that cystamine inactivates transglutaminase (TGase), an enzyme that helps produce these clumps of huntingtin protein. Therefore, Steinman and his former graduate student reasoned in 2010, that cystamine might control the disease by preventing the formation of huntingtin protein clumps.

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Two kinds of multiple sclerosis, two different responses to beta-interferon, 2010 study shows

There may be two distinct versions of multiple sclerosis, a study in both animal models and human blood samples suggests. What’s more, a patient’s responsiveness to the most popular first-line drug for this episodic and all-too-often recurring autoimmune condition seems to depend on which version that patient has.

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Inexpensive hypertension drug could be multiple sclerosis treatment, study shows

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found a link, in mice and in human brain tissue, between high blood pressure and multiple sclerosis. Lisonopril administration reduced numerous molecular measures of inflammation that accompany multiple sclerosis in humans and its analog in the animal model.

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Study yields 'gold mine' of potential drug targets for treating multiple sclerosis

Steinman and his team, working with researchers at the University of Connecticut Health Center, utilized proteomics, which is the large-scale study of protein structure and function, to identify more than 1,000 protein changes distinct to three discrete stages of multiple sclerosis. This generated the largest catalog of proteins unique to three major types of multiple sclerosis brain lesions to date.

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Molecule linked to autoimmune disease relapses identified at Stanford

Osteopontin - produced by immune cells and brain cells themselves - promotes the survival of the T cells that carry out the damaging attack on myelin; by increasing the number of these T cells, osteopontin increases their destructive potential. Osteopontin could be used as a marker of an impending relapse. What's more, if the protein could be blocked, it might thwart the relapse from ever occurring.

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In turkey lies hope for treating autoimmune disorders

Steinman's group has found that certain tryptophan metabolites—molecules formed as the body breaks down the amino acid—work as well as any other existing medicines to alleviate multiple sclerosis symptoms.

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Steinman warned of drug's risk prior to FDA approval

The news last week that the federal Food and Drug Administration was pulling the multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri from the market stunned many in the medical profession, but neurology professor Larry Steinman, MD, who developed the drug, wasn't among them.

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Stanford doctors spotlight fatal flaw in multiple sclerosis drug trial

This tragedy - recounted in an article in the March 4 issue of The Lancet by two Stanford University School of Medicine neurologists - serves as a telling case study of what can go wrong in clinical trials.

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Stanford researchers shine light on new genes involved in multiple sclerosis

Using microarray technology, researchers at Stanford University Medical Center have uncovered thousands of genes that may be involved in multiple sclerosis. These results could lead to new treatments and help clarify previous observations about the disease.

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DNA cocktails and dreams

Patient-specific treatment for Autoimmune diseases might soon be reality.  Steinman and his group calls its strategy "reverse genomics." Normally DNA supplies the information cells need to make proteins; but these scientists use information from proteins identified using autoantigen microarrays to create DNA-based therapy.

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