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Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE), is the leading nongovernmental agency fully committed to funding research in epilepsy.

The organization was founded by Susan Axelrod and a small group of parents of children with epilepsy who were frustrated with their inability to protect their children from seizures and the side effects of medications. Unwilling to sit back, they joined forces to spearhead the search for a cure.

Since its inception in 1998, CURE has been at the forefront of epilepsy research, raising more than $60 million to fund research and other initiatives that will lead the way to a cure for epilepsy. CURE funds grants for young and established investigators and has awarded more than 220 cutting-edge projects in 15 countries around the world to date.

CURE has led a dramatic shift in the epilepsy research community from simply treating seizures to enhancing understanding of underlying mechanisms and causes, so that cures and preventative strategies can be found. CURE’s research program is cutting-edge, dynamic and responsive to new scientific opportunities and directions through both investigator-initiated grants and unprecedented scientific programs and initiatives.

Tireless in its efforts and determination, we won’t stop until a CURE is found for epilepsy.

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December 4, 2018

New CURE-Funded Research Projects

Announcing the next round of promising epilepsy research projects funded by the CURE Taking Flight and Innovator Awards! Read on to learn about our latest grantees and their studies.

October 24, 2018

Announcing the 2018 Post-Traumatic Epilepsy Initiative Grantees

The Post-Traumatic Epilepsy Initiative is a team science, multi-disciplinary program that will expand the knowledge around the types of injuries that predispose the brain to epilepsy, as well as a develop new models to study epilepsy that results from injury.

August 21, 2018

Clinical Trial: A Study to Assess the Safety and Efficacy of Lacosamide Versus Placebo (a Pill Without Active Medication) in Patients With Idiopathic Generalised Epilepsy Who Are Already Taking Anti-epileptic Medications (VALOR)

This study is investigating whether Lacosamide (Vimpat®)—when taken with current anti-epileptic medicine—helps decrease the number of seizures patients experience

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August 18, 2018

Mayor Emanuel Interviews Singer, Actor and “Hamilton” Star Miguel Cervantes on “Chicago Stories”

On this week’s episode of “Chicago Stories” the star of Chicago’s “Hamilton” Miguel Cervantes gives Mayor Emanuel his take on the smash-hit musical, shares the story of his hard-won career, and talks about his biggest role of all as “Dad” and raising awareness for childhood epilepsy.

August 16, 2018

Hari Ravichandran Launches Foundation With Inaugural Gift To Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE)

$150,000 Commitment in Support of 20th Annual Benefit and ‘Taking Flight’ Research Award

July 10, 2018

Students Impacted by Epilepsy Use Scholarships to Become Agents of Change Across the US

Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE) and Lundbeck have announced the newest cohort of Education Enrichment Fund (EEF) Scholars for 2018. These 10 new scholars have all been personally impacted by epilepsy and, collectively, will receive nearly $50,000 to advance their education while bringing greater awareness to epilepsy. The EEF Scholarships—made possible by generous support from Lundbeck—award a one-time scholarship (up to $5,000) to those living with epilepsy, or for family members and caregivers of those impacted by the disease. The scholarship, which is in its third year, covers tuition, books, and academic materials and supports coursework advancing personal knowledge in research, health education and advocacy in relation to epilepsy. “As a patient-centered and research driven organization, CURE greatly appreciates Lundbeck’s generous support of the Education Enrichment Fund Scholars Program,” said Stacey Pigott, Chair of CURE’s Research Committee. “This year’s recipients are all incredibly deserving with their personal connection to epilepsy and shared goal of furthering their education to enact positive change within the broader epilepsy community.” One scholar, after serving as a nurse for seven years in the U.S. Army, was diagnosed with epilepsy caused by a brain tumor. Her personal battle towards recovery has led her to pursue a career as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Another scholar has spent ten years battling for her son who was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of four. Her triumphs and tragedies have motivated her to pursue a career as a Family Nurse Practitioner so she can advocate for others who are battling this disorder. Other awardees include an aspiring pediatric neurologist seeking to combat the effects of epilepsy he has witnessed in his older brother; a student living with epilepsy himself and striving to become a neurologist; and a teacher in the peace corps seeking to advance epilepsy research to treat not only her own disorder, but the disorder of the students in her classroom. “This is the third round of Education Enrichment Fund Scholars and, once again, I am amazed at the recipients’ passion, hopefulness and determination to make a difference in the lives of others who are living with epilepsy,” said Lorena Di Carlo, Vice President & General Manager, Neurology, at Lundbeck. “This initiative has taught us so much about the strength of the epilepsy community, and we are proud to be a part of it.” Launched in 2016 with just three scholars, the EEF Scholarship program has more than tripled in 2018 and has supported nearly 20 scholars since the program’s inception. 2018 winners include: Brook Hodgeman - St. Albans, VT Devin Leishman - Manhattan, KS Cote Licciardi - Hammond, LA Michelle Mottern - Auburndale, FL Rachel Simms - Concord, CA Daniel Stanley - Wauconda, IL Matthew Summerfield - Saginaw, MI Daniel Torolira - Los Angeles, CA Derek Vielhauer - Dublin, CA Logan Welborn - Winston Salem, NC   Click to learn more about each scholar. ### About CURE The mission of Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE) is to find a cure for epilepsy, by promoting and funding patient-focused research.  Since its inception in 1998, CURE has raised over $50 million to advance its goal of no seizures and no side effects. To date, CURE has awarded more than 220 cutting-edge research projects in 15 countries around the world. CURE is the leading nongovernmental agency fully committed to funding research in epilepsy. For information about CURE, please visit our website at www.CUREepilepsy.org or contact us at info@CUREepilepsy.org. About Lundbeck H. Lundbeck A/S (LUN.CO, LUN DC, HLUYY) is a global pharmaceutical company specialized in psychiatric and neurological disorders. For more than 70 years, we have been at the forefront of research within neuroscience. Our key areas of focus are depression, schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. An estimated 700 million people worldwide are living with psychiatric and neurological disorders and far too many suffer due to inadequate treatment, discrimination, a reduced number of working days, early retirement and other unnecessary consequences. Every day, we strive for improved treatment and a better life for people living with psychiatric and neurological disorders — we call this Progress in Mind. Read more at www.lundbeck.com/global/about-us/progress-in-mind. Our approximately 5,000 employees in more than 50 countries are engaged in the entire value chain throughout research, development, production, marketing and sales. Our pipeline consists of several late-stage development programs and our products are available in more than 100 countries. Our research center is based in Denmark and our production facilities are located in Denmark, France and Italy. Lundbeck generated revenue of DKK 17.2 billion in 2017 (EUR 2.3 billion; USD 2.6 billion). In the U.S., Lundbeck employs nearly 1,000 people focused solely on accelerating therapies for brain disorders. With a special commitment to the lives of patients, families and caregivers, Lundbeck U.S. actively engages in hundreds of initiatives each year that support our patient communities. For additional information, we encourage you to visit our corporate site at www.lundbeck.com/us and connect with us on Twitter at @LundbeckUS.

January 22, 2018

Stopping Acquired Epilepsy Before It Starts? CURE Researcher Identifies a Possible Biomarker

Early intervention, in response to rising biomarker levels, could delay the onset of epilepsy, block the progression of the disease, and eliminate impairments in memory (Chicago - February 6, 2018) New research, funded by Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE), has discovered a ‘smoking gun’ biomarker that could result in treatments that stop some epilepsies before they even start. “Being able to identify that a person is likely to develop epilepsy following a brain injury is one of the most important focus areas in modern-day epilepsy research,” says Dr. Laura Lubbers, CURE’s Chief Scientific Officer. “With 3.4 million Americans suffering from epilepsy and seizures in the U.S., this discovery of a predictive biomarker for a certain form of epilepsy could prevent unpredictable seizures from taking over the lives of millions of Americans and their families.” Using a rat model of brain injury and epilepsy, CURE-funded researcher Dr. Annamaria Vezzani and her team at the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in Milan, Italy have identified that, prior to the development of epilepsy, high levels of the protein high-mobility group box 1 – also known as HMGB1 – have been found in both the brain and blood of rats. This means that high levels of the biomarker HMGB1 may predict the impending onset of epilepsy. The CURE-funded research team also discovered that a combination of existing medications not only prevent an increase in HMGB1 levels, but delay the onset of epilepsy, halt the disease’s progression, and eliminate memory impairments associated with epilepsy. “This discovery suggests that early intervention could slow, or potentially stop, the development of epilepsy in those at risk,” says Dr. Lubbers. “Epilepsy costs the United States approximately $15.5 billion each year, and prevention could result in ripple effects that go far beyond the millions who may receive early treatment.” HMGB1 is normally released in the brain in response to neuroinflammation, the brain’s response to injury. Targeting the neuroinflammation that leads to increased HMGB1 with drugs that are already in clinical use could create an entirely new therapeutic area to prevent epilepsy from developing or improve its outcomes. “With this research, Dr. Vezzani and her team have provided hope that a treatment for preventing acquired epilepsy before it occurs is on the horizon,” says CURE CEO Kate Carr. “We thank both Dr. Vezzani as well as our supporters who have made such research possible through their generous donations.”

November 29, 2017

CURE Taking Flight and Innovator Awards accepting applications

CURE is now accepting LOIs for its first 2018 grant cycle. These grants include: Innovator Award - A grant of $50,000 paid over one year Taking Flight Award - A grant of $100,000 paid over one year   The deadline for both of these grants is January 8, 2018 at 9pm Eastern. Full Key Cycle 1 timeline details are below: Activity Date Letter of Intent Deadline Monday, January 8th, 2018 - 9pm ET Full Application Invitations Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 Full Application Deadline Wednesday, March 28th, 2018 - 9pm ET Anticipated Award Announcement July 2018 Anticipated Project Start Date September 2018   For more information or to apply, interested parties should visit CURE's Grant Opportunities webpage.

September 20, 2017

CURE and Lundbeck Announce 2017 Education Enrichment Fund Scholars

CHICAGO, IL – Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE) and Lundbeck have announced the naming of six new Education Enrichment Fund (EEF) Scholars. The EEF Scholarships—made possible by generous support from Lundbeck—award a one-time scholarship (up to $5,000) to cover tuition, books, and course materials for those living with epilepsy, or for family members and caregivers of those impacted by the disease. The scholarship is to be used toward coursework advancing personal knowledge in research, health education, advocacy and/or awareness in relation to the recipient’s experiences with epilepsy. Launched last year by CURE and Lundbeck with three scholars, the EEF Scholarship program has doubled in 2017 to fund six scholarships. The 2017 winners are: Drake Abramson, University of Indianapolis Jacqueline Bridges, University of Pittsburgh Brianna Brodeur, University of Illinois—Champaign Jordan Kaufman, Rollins College Casey Nunes, Benedictine University Nolan Wu, Trinity University   The 2017 scholars include students personally living with epilepsy and related syndromes, and ones caring for family members impacted by epilepsy. The scholars’ academic interests include neuroscience, biology, and public health—most with an eye to studying epilepsy. “I am so inspired by the incredible individuals who have received the Education Enrichment Fund scholarships,” said Lorena Di Carlo, Vice President & General Manager, Neurology, at Lundbeck. “They have each taken adversity and channeled it into something positive. Lundbeck is honored to support them in their pursuit to help people who are living with epilepsy.” “At CURE, we understand it’s vital to make a difference today in the lives of those impacted by epilepsy, and also to inspire and support the new generation of researchers and scholars that will hopefully end this disease,” said Kate Carr, CEO of CURE. “The EEF Scholars program helps us achieve both of these goals. Because of the strong support from Lundbeck, we are able to make a meaningful impact in the lives of these exciting young scholars.”

July 19, 2016

Wiley and ILAE Partner on a New Open Access Journal for Epilepsy Research

Hoboken, NJ – John Wiley and Sons, Inc., and the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) announced today the launch of a new international, open access publication, Epilepsia Open. Epilepsia Open is an international, peer-reviewed journal from the International League Against Epilepsy. The mission of the journal is to make original epilepsy research on all aspects of epilepsy widely available through open access publication. More specifically, Epilepsia Open will fill a need in comprehensive epilepsy research by also including early, preliminary studies that may provide new directions for clinical and laboratory research as well as well performed negative and failure to confirm studies. The journal launches with its first article, "Classification of the epilepsies: New concepts for discussion and debate." This article intends to update the community on the work being done by the Task Force on the Classification of the Epilepsies and to solicit comments and criticism from readers. Following this, the journal will cover: clinical, basic and translational research; clinical trials including pilot trials that may provide new insights or directions; well performed clinical trials that are negative or fail to confirm previous studies; original imaging and pathology research; innovative epidemiology studies; societal and public health impact studies; and clinical implications of basic science in epilepsy. The journal joins ILAE’s portfolio of journals, including the highly ranked Epilepsia and Epileptic Disorders. “Wiley is proud to extend our relationship with the ILAE into open access publishing and to expand through Epilepsia Open the portfolio of this valued partner,” said Shawn Morton, Director of Society Journal Publishing, Health Sciences at Wiley. “We expect that this new journal will amplify the work published in Epilepsia and Epileptic Disorders and that these three publications in concert will further accelerate and facilitate the transfer of research findings into clinical practice.” “Epilepsia Open will allow us to address the broader needs of the ILAE constituency,” said Emilio Perucca, President of the ILAE. “By publishing in Epilepsia Open, authors can ensure that their research is readily accessible to the entire scientific and lay community, thereby enhancing the global visibility of their work.” “Epilepsia Open is creating a unique forum for the rapid open access publication of epilepsy research, reviews, news and commentaries,” said Dieter Schmidt, co-Editor-in-Chief of Epilepsia Open. “We are committed to facilitating and invigorating a robust and successful publication pipeline that will improve translational research and health science in epilepsy.” Epilepsia Open has four Editors-in-Chief: Dr. Aristea Galanopoulou is a Professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Dr. Gary Mathern is the Director of Epilepsy Surgery and Professor in Residence for neurosurgery at the Brain Research Institute UCLA; Dr. Dieter Schmidt is Emeritus Professor of Neurology of the Free University of Berlin; and Dr. Xuefeng Wang is the Vice Director of the Department of Neurology and Professor at Chongqing Medical University China. In addition to its distinguished Editors-in-Chief, Epilepsia Open has a diverse list of associate editors and editorial board members from around the globe to represent the full international community for epilepsy research. All articles in Epilepsia Open will be published under a Creative Commons license on Wiley Online Library. Authors with open access mandates from funders will be fully compliant when publishing with this journal. A publication fee will be payable by authors on acceptance of their articles. Waivers and discounts are available to authors in developing countries and under special circumstances. Authors affiliated with, or funded by, an organization that has a Wiley Open Access Account can publish without directly paying any publication charges. The journal is open to submissions now and plans to publish the first issue online in September 2016. For more information, visit www.epilepsiaopen.com.

May 20, 2016

Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. Announces Discontinuation of PLUMIAZ™ (diazepam)

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. announced May 20 it will discontinue development of PLUMIAZ™ (diazepam) Nasal Spray, an investigational therapy which was being studied for the treatment of seizure clusters in people with epilepsy. Data from ongoing clinical trials do not demonstrate its bioequivalence to Diastat® gel, which is needed for New Drug Applications (NDA). Read the full article

November 10, 2015

CURE To Expand Work With Veterans’ Epilepsy Thanks To Department Of Defense Grant

Chicago, IL- Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy today announced that it will create a new research program and focus with a grant of approximately 10 million dollars over 5 years to go toward epilepsy research in veterans with traumatic brain injury. The grant was awarded by the Department of Defense, Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Research Program, award number W81XWH-15-2-0069. The grant will support a team approach to researching the prevention and treatment of Post-Traumatic Epilepsy (PTE). The incidence of epilepsy in active service members increased by an alarming 52 percent from 2006 to 2010.Approximately 8 percent of those afflicted have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI) , making it the most common predisposing condition. Twenty-four percent of military-related epilepsy is associated with prior TBI. “Our veterans deserve much better after serving our country,” said Susan Axelrod, founding chair of CURE.  “In the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan the “signature wound” was traumatic brain injury. Those who suffer severe TBI face up to a 50 percent chance of developing Post-Traumatic Epilepsy (PTE), with the symptoms of epilepsy (seizures) manifesting themselves immediately or even up to fifteen years post-injury.   At CURE we are committed to exploring the complex underlying mechanisms of post-traumatic epilepsy and ways to treat it more effectively and one day even prevent it entirely.” “CURE applauds the U.S. Department of Defense for dedicating this significant amount of resources to epilepsy research,” said Robin Harding, Chief Executive Officer. “We are grateful to those who back our effort to find a cure for this disease through research and by increasing awareness of epilepsy’s prevalence and devastating consequences for patients and their families.  Investing in research is the cornerstone of discovery and an ultimate cure.” “The next great breakthrough is not going to come from a single researcher working in isolation,” said Julie Milder, PhD, Associate Research Director at CURE and Program Officer for the DOD grant. “We strongly believe in the power of collaboration and its ability to move science forward faster.  We are incredibly grateful for this opportunity to move team science into the area of post-traumatic epilepsy-- one that is desperate for greater understanding.” Next steps for the program include convening a meeting of key opinion leaders in epilepsy, traumatic brain injury and veterans’ health to determine opportunities of biggest impact over the next five years. The outcomes of the meeting will serve as the basis for the development of a targeted team science research program which will be announced through a request for applications in late spring.

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