The Maggie Loeffel Award
Development Of Novel Antiepileptic Drugs
Edward Perez-Reyes, PhD
University of Virginia
Mutations in certain genes may be responsible for hyperexcitability in the brain. A specific T channel gene has been associated with childhood absence epilepsy, a type of epilepsy in which the child exhibits staring spells during which he or she is unaware and unresponsive. Dr. Perez-Reyes strives to develop a T-type channel blocker as a novel anti-epileptic medication, which can be used in significantly lower doses to substantially reduce debilitating treatment side effects for these children.