Jacquelyn Cragg wins Branco Weiss Fellowship

Jacquelyn Cragg

Dr. Jacquelyn Cragg. Photo by Martin Dee.

ICORDian Dr. Jacquelyn Cragg has won the Society in Science – Branco Weiss Fellowship for postdoctoral studies. She joins physicists, biologists, social scientists, and other researchers from around the world in accepting the prestigious award given by ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology). She was the only recipient this year from Canada.

This fellowship will support Dr. Cragg’s research in spinal cord injury for up to five years. She will be investigating whether pain medication can alter the course of neurological recovery. Her previous research found that patients receiving anticonvulsants, a class of medications used to manage neuropathic pain, achieved greater recovery of muscle strength compared to patients administered other types of medications.

“There could be treatments for neurological diseases right under our nose. We just aren’t looking,” said Dr. Cragg.

Dr. Cragg completed her PhD in UBC’s School of Population and Public Health in 2015 under the supervision of ICORD Principal Investigator Dr. Jaimie Borisoff and Dr. David Patrick. She then went on to complete postdoctoral work with Dr. Marc Weisskopf (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health) and Dr. Neil Cashman (UBC Division of Neurology). She has also won awards from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, ALS Society of Canada, American Spinal Injury Association, and many others.

“I was incredibly honoured to receive this fellowship. This award is unique in that it allows more flexibility than other fellowships. Fellows are actively encouraged to pursue non-traditional ideas,” said Dr. Cragg.

Society in Science – The Branco Weiss Fellowship was founded in 2002 to provide a platform for researchers in the natural sciences and engineering who are aiming to extend their scientific work to cover specific social and cultural questions and perspectives. The fellowship was initiated and financed by the Swiss entrepreneur Dr. Branco Weiss, who died in 2010. It belongs to ETH Zurich. Professors Angelika Steger, Heidi Wunderli-Allenspach, and Josef Zeyer direct the fellowship program, and are supported by ETH Zurich’s strategy committee, consisting of prominent international scholars from a wide array of disciplines. To qualify for the prestigious grant, candidates must hold a PhD and provide evidence of outstanding scientific achievement.