CURE eUpdate Newsletter:
CURE Epilepsy
CURE eUpdate : August 2012

Letter from CUREDear Friends,

As thrilled as I am to find myself serving as Interim Executive Director of CURE these past few months, it is even more thrilling to be asked to share with you the compelling stories of commitment and dedication that have just allowed us to invest $1.4 million in our second round of 2012 research awards.

So many of you have joined us in this fight, and we owe you all a tremendous debt of gratitude. You’ll note that six of the eight projects listed below (marked with stars) have been named for individuals, foundations or local fundraising efforts that have made significant enough contributions to completely or significantly support a project. They are listed below in connection with the grants they are supporting. I know you will be as humbled as I am by their overwhelming commitment to the science that will lead us to a world free of epilepsy. There aren’t words enough to express our appreciation for their belief in that vision.

As mentioned, this is the second round of research awards for this year. At the beginning of the year, we invested $800,000 to fund our annual Taking Flight (for young investigators) and Innovator Awards. In a few months, we will invest another $1 million in cutting-edge, team science to support the first year of our new, targeted initiative in Infantile Spasms (a childhood epilepsy syndrome with potential for profound developmental and cognitive consequences).

I am proud to be involved with CURE, the leading non-governmental supporter of epilepsy research, the brilliant scientists who dedicate their lives to this work, and the amazing donors and supporters, who exemplify the passion and commitment that will help ensure a brighter future for all patients and their loved ones affected by epilepsy.

Bogdan Ewendt

P.S. Please let me know if you would like more information on naming a grant in any of our upcoming programs. You can email or call me at or 312.255.1801

But also remember that every dollar counts—we value every donation.


2012 Challenge Awards ($250,000 awards for up to two years)

CURE grant award The CJM Foundation Award
With deepest appreciation to CURE Board Member Constance Milstein for her ongoing generous support and her belief in the promise of research to enhance our understanding and develop real solutions for patients with epilepsy and their loved ones.

Peter Crino, MD, PhD
University of Pennsylvania
A Novel Transposon Causes Focal Cortical Dysplasia

CURE grant award The Heldman Family / CURE Award
Debbie and Paul Heldman have shown their deep commitment to CURE and to their son Alex by sponsoring research projects in previous cycles. We are indebted to them for their belief that increased research will uncover the mysteries and the desperately-needed solutions for Alex and all other patients with epilepsy.

Robert Fujinami, PhD
University of Utah
New Treatments for Epilepsy that Regulate Complement Activity

2012 Multidisciplinary Awards (up to $350,000 over two years)

CURE grant award The Brighter Future / CURE Award
This is the third grant supported by a caring donor, who has chosen to remain anonymous.
It is generously made in honor of a brighter future for all those struggling with epilepsy around the world.

Steven Schiff, MD, PhD; Andrew Read, PhD; Bruce Gluckman, PhD; Patrick Drew, PhD & Jose Antonio Stoute, MD
Pennsylvania State University
A Murine Model for Preventing Postmalarial Epilepsy

CURE grant award The Dravet Syndrome Foundation Award

The Dravet Syndrome Foundation raises funds for Dravet Syndrome and related epilepsy syndrome research; works to increase awareness of these catastrophic conditions; and provides support to affected individuals and families. Their continued, generous support of Dravet Syndrome research through CURE demonstrates the power of families to truly make profound differences.

Jingqiong “Katty” Kang, MD, PhD
Vanderbilt University
Probing synaptic changes in a novel mouse model of severe epilepsy with nanoparticle-enabled 3D super-resolution imaging

2012 Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) Awards ($100,000 for one year)

CURE grant award The Rock the Block for Pediatric Epilepsy Research Award
Rock the Block was started by mothers of children with epilepsy who happened to live on the same block in suburban Chicago. Their bi-annual "block party" to raise funds for pediatric epilepsy research has blossomed into a much anticipated event. In addition to raising much-needed research dollars, they have connected many families affected by epilepsy. This is the third research grant generously supported by Rock the Block. For information on their upcoming event, September 29th:

Chris Semsarian, PhD & Ingrid Scheffer, MD
University of Sydney & University of Melbourne
Neuro-Cardiac Genetic Basis of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP)

CURE grant award The 2012 Christopher Donalty & Kyle Coggins Memorial Award

This is the ninth research grant named for Christopher Donalty and Kyle Coggins, two young men from Central New York State whose bright futures were cut short by epilepsy. The amazing and caring communities in which their families live have truly honored Christopher and Kyle's memories by coming together to support research that has the potential to prevent other families from enduring similar heartbreaks.

Geoffrey Pitt, PhD
Duke University
Development of a Mouse Model for SUDEP


Edward Glasscock, PhD
Baylor College of Medicine
Pharmacological reversal of cardiorespiratory deficiency in the Kcna1-null model of SUDEP


Sanjay Sisodiya, PhD; Samden Lhatoo, MD; Maria Thom, MD & Jane Hanna
University College London, Case Western Reserve University, University College London, Epilepsy Bereaved
The Brain in Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) - New Insights from Pathology


What’s Happening at CURE

CURE is Hiring!
Check out our latest job openings, and apply to become a part of the CURE team. CURE currently has staff openings for two positions: Director of Development and Administrative Assistant.
[Click here to learn more about these great opportunities and to apply.]

In the News

Implantable Device Could Detect and Halt Seizures
A July article in the journal Scientific American elucidated the interesting and important work being done to create implantable devices that can detect and halt epilepsy seizures.

CURE is proud to report that, with your support, we have funded many studies in the areas discussed in this article. Drs. Brian Litt, Jon Viventi, and Pedro Irazoqui & Jenna Rickus were funded for their studies on implantable devices. Drs. Steve Rothman, Matthew Smyth & Raimondo D’Ambrosio, and D’Ambrosio/Rothman/Smyth et al for work on focal cooling. Dr. Stefan Lee for his work on targeted drug delivery. They are working day in and day out to find the answers… to find the cures!

[Read the article]

What You Can Do
CURE has so many ways to get involved! Check out our website on how to host an event, share your story, or contact your local representative to express what a cure means to you.


Coast to Coast

Calling All Athletes
If you're participating in a race this fall---a marathon, a walk, a ride or a climb--did you know you can also help raise awareness and funds for epilepsy research at the same time? For information and assistance, please email Kris at

Spreading the Word

Remembering John
To me, John was a kind, loving, funny, talented, and cool older brother. But as I reflect back on his life, I realize what a profound impact he had on me and how I was never able to thank him for all the wonderful roles he played in my life.

As a little kid, whether I was being physically assaulted by neighborhood bullies or mentally terrorized by mean girls, he always tried to protect me. As a teenage girl, he taught me to respect myself and demand respect from the young men around me. As a young woman in my twenties, he taught me to appreciate different cultures, forms of art, music genres, and films that would ultimately shape the way I now see the world. And lastly, as an adult, he gave me the gift of perspective. As long as John was doing all right, everything else was manageable.
[Read more]

Upcoming Events
Check out these great upcoming events across the country!

Upcoming Event Climbing for Epilepsy Awareness with John Olson and Eric Alexander
Mt. Antero, Colorado (14,276 ft.)
Info: Event Details

Upcoming Event 8th Annual Drive for CURE
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Beach Park, IL
Info: Event Details

Upcoming Event Second Annual Teresa's Birthday Benefit for CURE
Thursday, September 13, 2012
San Francisco, CA
Info: Event Details + Donation

Upcoming Event Joey’s Song Release Party and Benefit Concert Fighting Epilepsy With Music
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Madison, WI
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of CDs will benefit CURE.
Info: Event Details

Upcoming Event Rock the Block for Pediatric Epilepsy Research
Saturday, September 29, 2012
Chicago, IL
Info: Event Details

Click here for more information on upcoming events

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