American Epilepsy Society Awards New Seed Grant for Study of Ribosomal Biogenesis in Relation to Epilepsy

Article ID: 622773

Released: 3-Sep-2014 2:30 PM EDT

Source Newsroom: American Epilepsy Society (AES)

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Newswise — West Hartford, Conn., September 3, 2014 – Today the American Epilepsy Society (AES) awarded a new seed grant for a collaborative project between Dr. Michal Hetman, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery at the University of Louisville Research Foundation, and Dr. Steven Danzer, PhD, Associate Professor of Anesthesia and Pediatrics at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

The grant project will focus on the importance of ribosome synthesis and its connection to temporal lobe epilepsy in a mouse model. This new funding will assist Dr. Hetman and Dr. Danzer in testing a new hypothesis that the RNA polymerase-1 (Pol1), which is the critical enzyme for ribosome production, contributes to the development of epilepsy. Epileptic mice whose Pol1 activity will be disrupted by a pharmacogenetic intervention will be monitored by video/EEG to evaluate seizures.

This research is based on pioneering work that was done in the Hetman lab that identified Pol1 as a pivotal sensor of neuronal DNA damage and as an effector of dendritic growth in response to the neurotrophin BDNF.

The two teams working in collaboration aim to decrease the intensity of spontaneous seizures in temporal lobe epilepsy by inhibiting ribosome production in mouse brain cells. Their studies may also directly identify Pol1 as a new target for anti-epileptogenic therapies.

This seed grant will provide Dr. Hetman the critical support to develop such a program including obtaining data for a major research proposal to NINDS. Serving as a mentor to Dr. Hetman, Dr. Danzer will introduce him to this research field and help to develop video/EEG capacity in the Hetman lab.

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About The American Epilepsy SocietyThe American Epilepsy Society (AES) is a non-profit medical and scientific society. Our individual members are professionals engaged in both research and clinical care for people with epilepsy from private practice, academia and government. For more than 75 years, AES has been unlocking the potential of the clinical and research community by creating a dynamic global forum where professionals can share, learn and grow. AES champions the use of sound science and clinical care through the exchange of knowledge, by providing education and by furthering the advancement of the profession. To learn more about AES, visit

For more information, contact Natalie Judd at (203) 605-9515 or at


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