Newswise — WEST HARTFORD, Conn., April 14, 2014— Today, the American Epilepsy Society (AES) released its list of new fellowship awardees, naming 15 recipients for the organization’s early-career awards. The fellowship recipients come from academic institutions and medical schools throughout the U.S. and include clinicians and basic scientists who are focused on many different components of epilepsy treatment and research. The winners were selected from a competitive pool of applicants and they will receive funding for one year.

The AES provides more than $800,000 to support research training grants for clinicians, research grants and pre- and post-doctoral research and training fellowships. Each year, AES clinical and basic science fellowship awardees are selected for their novel approaches to epilepsy care and research innovations that can help lead to new therapies and increase the understanding of epilepsy.

“Providing early-career awards is central to the mission of AES,” said Elson So, M.D., AES president. “As our Society works to deepen understanding of the underlying mechanisms of epilepsy and stimulate innovations and new developments in epilepsy treatment, it is critical that we help the next generation of epilepsy research leaders to launch and establish their careers.”

“This is a strong group of awardees, each of whom will bring new ideas and advanced science to help increase our understanding of epilepsy,” said Kimford Meador,M.D., chair of the AES Research & Training Council. “AES’s commitment to funding young researchers at this critical stage in their career development helps assure that we will continue to have the best minds working in the field in coming years.”

The fellowship recipients and their areas of study are:

Lidia Moura, M.D., Massachusetts General Hospital, Understanding the quality of care that improves outcomes in epilepsy

Shennan Weiss, M.D., Ph.D., University of California, Los AngelesPhase locked high frequency oscillations as biomarker of epileptogenicity

Karthik Rajasekaran, Ph.D., UT Southwestern Medical CenterGABAergic neurotransmission at CA2 neurons in temporal lobe epilepsy

Courtney Wusthoff, M.D., Stanford UniversityElectrographic seizures and EEG Biomarkers in Neonatal Stroke

Xi Du, B.S., University of MichiganStructural and Functional Plasticity in Experimental Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

Tyra Lamar, B.S., Emory UniversitySCN9A as a Genetic Modifier of Idiopathic Epilepsy Disorders

Jesse Winters, B.S., University of Michigan School of MedicineRole of Astrocytes in Abnormal Cerebellar Development in Dravet Syndrome

Nuri Kucukboyaci, M.S., University of California, San Diego – Health SciencesPostsurgical Structural and Functional Connectivity and Executive Function

Tristan Shuman, Ph.D., University of California, Los AngelesInterneuron functional connectivity in epilepsy

Dario Englot, M.D., Ph.D., University of California, San FranciscoFunctional connectivity analysis in focal neocortical epilepsy

Gemma Carvill, Ph.D., University of WashingtonEpigenomic Approaches to Epilepsy

Nicholas Varvel, Ph.D., Emory UniversityThe role of brain-infiltrating monocytes after status epilepticus

Valerie Bomben, Ph.D., Baylor College of MedicineGenetic Dissection of Descending Corticothalamic Input in Absence Epilepsy

Guangfu Wang, Ph.D., University of VirginiaRole of CaV3.2 mutations in childhood absence epilepsy

Mortitz Armbruster, Ph.D., Tufts UniversitySpatial autoregulation of astrocytic mGluR5 after neocortical malformation

The AES fellowship awards are funded by AES, with additional contributions from AES members and corporate donations and grants to AES from Eisai, Cyberonics and Nihon Kohden. Additional fellowships are supported by the AES Lennox & Lombroso Fund endowment. The award process is administered for AES by the Epilepsy Foundation.

About the American Epilepsy Society (AES): The American Epilepsy Society (AES) is the largest and most active non-profit medical and scientific society devoted to issues surrounding the epilepsies. 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.###