SOURCE: Epilepsy Foundation

Epilepsy Foundation

August 09, 2016 09:24 ET

Two Medical Researchers Awarded Early Career Research Grants From the Epilepsy Foundation to Help Advance Epilepsy Training and Research

LANDOVER, MD--(Marketwired - August 09, 2016) - The Epilepsy Foundation, in partnership with the American Epilepsy Society (AES), recently awarded two medical researchers with grants that will directly support their efforts in epilepsy research and research training.

Each AES/Epilepsy Foundation Research and Training Fellowship for Clinicians will provide one year of mentored research training and each AES/Epilepsy Foundation Junior Investigator Research Award will provide one year of research funding for early career scientists. AES and the Epilepsy Foundation have been long-time partners in the advancement and support of early stage investigators.

Epilepsy Foundation's research and new therapy program serves as a key component within its mission. The program seeks to target funds in support of cutting edge research, introduce the best and brightest scientists into the field, and support the development of new and innovative approaches to prevent, treat, and cure epilepsy.

Following a competitive process, the 2016 AES/Epilepsy Foundation Early Career Research Fellowship and Grant recipients are:

Recipient: Christine Baca, M.D.
Area: Understanding pediatric to adult epilepsy transition care gaps -- University of California, Los Angeles

"Many children with epilepsy continue to have active seizures into adolescence and young adulthood. Care for these individuals needs to transition and then be fully transferred from a pediatric to an adult provider. Transitions of care from pediatrics to adults can often be complex for adolescents with chronic medical conditions. This research project will examine the transition care gaps that exist for patients with epilepsy, evaluate predictors of transition care, and then examine pediatric and adult epilepsy care provider perceptions of effective epilepsy transition care and clinic models. These results will be used to inform the development of a future transition care model."

Recipient: Kevin Murnane, Ph.D.
Area: A nanotechnology approach to developing new treatments for epilepsy -- Mercer University

"A critical barrier in the epilepsy field is many drugs that could potentially be used to control seizures have properties that prevent them from entering the brain. In the proposed studies, we intend to focus on the development of a new technology to actively transport these compounds into the brain. We will focus our efforts on neuropeptide Y and oxytocin, as there is evidence that these compounds control seizure activity. We have generated exciting preliminary data supporting the use of our technology to transport these compounds into the brain, and these compounds are excellent prototypes with which to demonstrate the feasibility of our novel technology."

"The Epilepsy Foundation supports a series of grants and fellowships to advance the understanding of epilepsy that will lead to better treatment, more effective prevention, and ultimately to a cure," said Brandy Fureman, Vice President of Research and New Therapies of the Epilepsy Foundation. "We are proud to make this investment in training and early career support to new epilepsy researchers and clinician scientists. Our funding partnership with AES allows these recipients greater access to key networks in their professional community, which will further advance their careers. We look forward to seeing the results of their studies and the impact that they will have on the field."

* Epilepsy Foundation research award were supported by a sponsorship from, UCB, Inc.

About Epilepsy

When a person has one or more unprovoked seizures, they are considered to have epilepsy. Epilepsy affects 3 million people in the U.S. and 65 million worldwide. This year, another 150,000 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy. Despite all available treatments, 4 out of 10 people with epilepsy continue to experience uncontrolled seizures while many more experience less than optimal seizure control.

About the Epilepsy Foundation

The Epilepsy Foundation, a national non-profit with nearly 50 local organizations throughout the U.S., has led the fight against seizures since 1968. The Foundation is an unwavering ally for individuals and families impacted by epilepsy and seizures. The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is: to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives. The Foundation works to ensure that people with seizures have the opportunity to live their lives to their fullest potential. For additional information, please visit

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