Dr. H. Steve White joined CURE in November of 2011 as Research Advisor. In this role, Dr. White aids in the development and implementation of CURE’s strategic research program; including the unique metric-driven, collaborative team-science program that aims to find a cure or disease-modifying therapy for infantile spasms, a catastrophic encephalopathy of childhood.
Dr. White is also Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology and Principal Investigator of the NIH-sponsored Anticonvulsant Drug Development Program at the University of Utah. This program was established in 1974 to aid in the early identification and development of novel anticonvulsant drugs using established animal seizure and epilepsy models. Over the years, over 30,000 investigational antiepileptic drugs have been evaluated in various seizure and epilepsy models. The efforts of this successful translational research program have contributed to the successful development of several new antiepileptic drugs for the treatment of focal epilepsy. Several other antiepileptic drugs are presently under clinical development. In addition to his efforts as Director of the Anticonvulsant Drug Development Program, Dr. White has maintained an active basic research program that has been focused on providing a greater understanding of the factors which contribute to the initiation, propagation, and amelioration of seizure activity. In particular, Dr. White’s research has focused on the development and characterization of animal models of pharmacoresistance. Ongoing investigations in Dr. White’s laboratory are focused on the influence of genetics on seizure-susceptibility and antiepileptic drug pharmacology. In addition to their efforts at identifying new therapies for the symptomatic treatment of partial epilepsy, Dr. White’s laboratory is conducting research that may aid in the identification of novel therapeutics that may slow, halt or prevent the development of epilepsy in susceptible patients.
Dr. White has published over 150 original papers pertaining to the mechanism of action and the pharmacology of antiepileptic drugs. He has been a co-organizer of two NIH-sponsored workshops on models of refractory epilepsy and epileptogenesis and currently serves on the organizing committee of the biannual Eilat Conferences on Antiepileptic Drug Development. Moreover Dr. White has been actively engaged as a mentor for the next generation of neuroscientists and epilepsy educators and is frequently invited to speak at national and international congresses.