Newswise — The Golseth Young Investigator Award, honoring AANEM Founding Member, Dr. James Golseth, is presented annually to a medical student or physician in the early stages of his/her career for original research in NM and EDX medicine. For 2020, a Golseth award winner and a runner-up were selected.

Goknur Kocak, MD, has been named the winner of the 2020 Golseth Young Investigator Award for her abstract "A Novel Diagnostic Method for Myasthenia Gravis." The research project focused on extraocular muscles (EOMS), some of the most affected muscles in Myasthenia Gravis (MG). Because of EOMs anatomy, Dr. Kocak says recording their activity is quite challenging. Her research aimed to determine whether it is possible to indirectly measure muscle activities through eye movement velocity.

"We expect to lay the foundation for further studies recording EOMs activity indirectly through eye movement," said Dr. Kocak. "One day, we are hopeful that recording EOMs activity may play a significant role not only in making a diagnosis, but also in determining the follow-up treatment and adjusting treatment dosage."

Dr. Kocak says she is honored to recognized by the AANEM.

"It was a great honor to have been selected among my very successful peers by a highly respectable organization," Dr. Kocak said. "It is a very important milestone for our research and I think it may help our research acquire a lot of attention from the community in a very short period of time."

Dr. Kocak earned her medical degree from the Istanbul Univeristy's Instanbul Faculty of Medicine. She is currently a neurology resident at Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa, Cerrahpasa Faculty of Medicine and is planning on pursuing a neuromuscular fellowship program after she completes her residency.

Xiao Huan, MD, is the 2020 Golseth Young Investigator Award runner-up. Dr. Huan is being recognized for her abstract "A Prospective Study of Peripheral CD4+T Lymphocyte Subsets and Cytokine Profiles in Patients With Myasthenic Crisis." Her research project longtudinally followed peripheral CD4+T lymphocytes and cytokine profile in a cohort of Myasthenia Gravis (MG) patients who had myasthenic crisis (MC). The goal is to gain a better understanding of the peripheral immune response and its correlation with clinical scores in MC patients and to guide optimal immunotherapy and individualized treatment.

"Myasthenic crisis is a potentially life-threatening condition with in-hospital mortality of 10-12%," said Dr. Huan. "It is probably the first longitudinal study in characterizing peripheral CD4+T profile, which may provide future implication of biomarkers for disease progression and predictors for impeding crisis."

Dr. Huan says being named the Golseth Young Investigator Award runner-up encourages her to continue her research.

"I am deeply grateful to my mentor, Professor Chongbo Zhao, who designed the study and made constructive suggestions through the project. He is the one who always encouraged young doctors with big dreams," said Dr. Huan.

Dr. Huan earned her Bachelor of Medicine degree from Nanjing Medical University. She is now a postgraduate student at Fudan University and is completing neurological residencies at Huashan Hospital, Fudan University in Shanghai China.