Article collection on the vestibular system wins Frontiers research prize

Research Topic showcasing effective new treatments for common balance and orientation disorders gives new hope to millions.

Research Topic showcasing effective new treatments for common health disorders wins this year’s Spotlight Award, with second and third place awarded to collections on tinnitus and megaquakes.

An outstanding research collection on the vestibular system — the inner ear organ responsible for balance and orientation — is the winner of the 2018 Frontiers Spotlight Award.

Vestibular Contributions to Health and Disease gives new hope to millions of people suffering from dizziness, vertigo and fainting. Edited by Dr Bernard Cohen, Dr Richard Lewis and Dr Jose Antonio Lopez-Escamez, the research collection brings together powerful new methods for the diagnosis and treatment of these common disorders. This includes the first-ever effective treatment for Mal de Debarquement Syndrome, where people continue to feel off-balance long after a boat, plane or lengthy car journey.

“The burden of vestibular disorders is growing, especially in aging populations,” says Dr Cohen. “But at present, most physicians have very limited ability to diagnose and treat such disorders — and may not even be aware of some of them.”

“Patients suffering from vestibular disorders deserve access to better diagnoses and new therapies,” adds Dr Lopez-Escamez. “Winning the Spotlight Award is an opportunity to raise awareness of the impact of these disorders and to attract new researchers to this topic.”

To date, the collection has received a lot of attention, with more than 80 citations, 70,000 views and 9,000 downloads. Research on a cure for Mal de Debarquement Syndrome has also been celebrated in The Washington Post.

The two runners-up for this year’s award also make impressive contributions to their fields. Towards an Understanding of Tinnitus Heterogeneity shares findings on combination therapies and the involvement of patients to help better understand and treat the, as-yet incurable, condition of tinnitus. While Mega Quakes: Cascading Earthquake Hazards and Compounding Risks provides new methods and tools to help minimize damage from earthquakes and their secondary effects, based on advanced computing and big data.

► See all 2018 Spotlight finalists

The Spotlight Award — now in its second year — supports emerging and important fields of research. It encompasses article collections from Frontiers’ full editorial program: life sciences, health, physical sciences and engineering, humanities and social sciences, and sustainability.

The winning Topic Editors will receive US $100,000 to host an international conference next year. The event, focusing on vestibular, cerebellar and autonomic contributions to health and disease, will be an opportunity for scientists and physicians from around the world to exchange ideas, raise awareness of new treatments and diagnostic tools, and increase collaborations.

“We are terribly excited to have won!” says Dr Cohen. “I am already writing to all the authors who contributed to the collection and asking them to participate in our conference.”

Interested in launching your own article collection and being in with the chance to win US $100,000 to host your own conference? Suggest a Research Topic to our editorial team today!

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