Newswise — West Hartford, Conn., May 5, 2014 – A researcher from the University of Calgary is receiving $130,000 to develop clinical decision tools to aid a physician’s understanding of how a patient will respond to different treatments. Colin Josephson, MD, MSc, a clinical and research fellow in epilepsy, was awarded the Susan S. Spencer Clinical Research Training Fellowship for his work in developing a clinical decision tool that is aimed at improving quality of patient care and helping ensure cost-effective use of healthcare resources.

The research grant is funded by the American Brain Foundation, the American Epilepsy Society, and the Epilepsy Foundation. The award is named in memory of Susan S. Spencer, MD, a leader in both the American Epilepsy Society and American Academy of Neurology, who was a leading epilepsy researcher.

“I feel incredibly privileged and humbled to have been selected as the recipient of the 2014 Susan S. Spencer Clinical Research Training Fellowship. It is an honor to be given the opportunity to perform clinical research that directly helps improve the lives of those with epilepsy,” said Josephson. “Thanks to the generous support of organizations such as the American Brain Foundation, the American Epilepsy Society, and the Epilepsy Foundation, I firmly believe that the future is bright for people with epilepsy.”

Drs. Nathalie Jette and Samuel Wiebe serve as Josephson’s research supervisors on the project and Dr. Mark Sadler has served as his residency mentor. The two-year award will consist of an annual salary of $55,000, plus $10,000 per year in educational expenses. The award recognizes the importance of epilepsy clinical research with the goal of providing better treatment, prevention or cure of the disease. The fellowship will be presented in Philadelphia during the American Academy of Neurology’s 66th Annual Meeting.

Clinical research is the fundamental transition stage between discovery and treatment. Clinical research provides the scientific basis for all forms of care, addresses patient and caregiver needs and is the backbone for drug development and cost-effectiveness studies needed to improve lives. Fellowships provide recipients with up to three years of “protected time” with salary, which allows them to continue important research projects in their chosen interests.

Epilepsy is a common neurologic disorder that produces seizures affecting a variety of mental and physical functions. Seizures are episodes of disturbed brain function that cause changes in attention or behavior. When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures, he or she is considered to have epilepsy. Epilepsy is a family of more than 40 syndromes that affects more than three million people in the United States and 50 million worldwide.

American Brain Foundation: The American Brain Foundation supports crucial research and education to discover causes, improved treatments, and cures for the brain and other nervous system diseases. One in six people is affected by brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injury, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, autism, and epilepsy. For more information about the American Brain Foundation and how you can support research, visit or visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube.

American Epilepsy Society: The American Epilepsy Society 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. For additional information visit

The Epilepsy Foundation, a national non-profit with 47 affiliated organizations throughout the United States, 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 stop seizures and sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), find a cure and overcome the challenges created by epilepsy through efforts including education, advocacy and research to accelerate ideas into therapies. 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