Identification of Pathophysiological and Genetic Mechanisms of SUDEP Using an Innovative Genetic Reference Population of Collaborative Cross Mice
SUDEP is the sudden, unexpected death of someone with epilepsy who otherwise appeared healthy. The substantial lifetime risk of SUDEP and the lack of a clear cause of SUDEP have increased attention to this unpredictable cause of death. Understanding the cause of SUDEP is paramount to developing preventive strategies. Animal models offer a means to study SUDEP in a controlled environment, in addition to providing a level of experimental testing and validation that is not possible or ethical in human subjects. By utilizing a unique resource of genetically diverse mice Dr. Gu aims to identify genes that control SUDEP susceptibility. By using genetic and electrophysiological techniques, Dr. Gu is also interested in understanding the physiological changes that can act as SUDEP triggers. These goals will further our understanding of the causes of SUDEP and will ultimately help lead to its prevention.
Dr. Gu’s research is funded by CURE Epilepsy. The additional funding from the CURE Epilepsy Research Continuity Fund will help Dr. Gu build back the mouse colony lost due to COVID-related shutdowns and continue these important studies.