Announcing the CURE Epilepsy Grantees!

We are very pleased to announce our grant recipients. Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were more determined than ever to ensure that CURE Epilepsy continues to advance epilepsy research. The eight novel research projects highlighted here, a combination of Taking Flight and CURE Epilepsy grants, will accelerate our ability to find cures for epilepsy. These investigators represent a range of young researchers, early in their career, who are “taking flight,” demonstrating their leadership and readiness to establish themselves independent of their mentors, as well as established researchers who are working zealously to further our understanding so we can achieve our goal – a cure for this devastating condition.

Announcing the Recent Taking Flight Award and CURE Epilepsy Award Grantees

Taking Flight Award Grantees

Ediberto Amorim de Cerqueira, M.D.
University of California, San Francisco – Dr. Amorim will define EEG signatures that predict  seizure risk after an acute brain injury. Dr. Amorim will also use EEG signatures to understand responses to anti-seizure drugs and use the knowledge gained to improve treatment decisions. The hope is that a data-driven approach to assess seizure risk and treatment response will help pave the way to personalized treatments that can prevent epilepsy from developing after acute brain injury. Read more »

Mark Bennett, Ph.D.
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Australia – Dr. Bennett will address the role of ‘repeat expansions’ in epilepsy. Repeat expansions are genetic changes that occur when repeated segments of DNA are copied many times. Dr. Bennett’s approach will be to analyze available data using cutting-edge computation methods and seek to discover novel repeat expansions that are associated with epilepsy. Read more »
Ankit Khambhati, Ph.D.
University of California, San Francisco – Dr. Khambhati aims to optimize paradigms used to stimulate the brain with a goal of interfering with seizure activity, leading to faster and more effective control of focal-onset seizures. Dr. Khambhati will develop a detailed map of patterns of stimulation and epileptic network response with the goal of being able to better calibrate implantable neurostimulation devices to provide more effective, long-term control of seizures. Read more »
Cristina Reschke, Ph.D.
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – Dr. Reschke will focus on how disruptions of circadian rhythms affect gene expression during development of epilepsy. This study will also look at developing a gene therapy approach to restore proper function of a central gene that is involved in regulating circadian rhythms. Dr. Reschke’s research project is generously funded by The Cameron Boyce Foundation. Read more »
Ranmal Samarasinghe, M.D., Ph.D.
University of California, Los Angeles – Dr. Samarasinghe will study 3D brain-like structures derived from the cells of people with epilepsy who have a mutation in the SCN8A gene to uncover cellular changes that account for differences in neuronal activity in different areas of the brain. He will use these structures as a model to test novel anti-seizure medications. Read more »

CURE Epilepsy Award Grantees

Christina Gross, Ph.D. and Steven Crone, Ph.D.
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital – Drs. Gross and Crone will use mouse models to test if changes in a specific genetic pathway, called the PI3K/mTOR pathway, lead to breathing abnormalities and Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP). The team will also test whether blocking this pathway with a specific compound reduces breathing abnormalities and SUDEP. This work could ultimately lead to a novel treatment that will reduce the risk of SUDEP. Read more »

Nuria Lacuey Lecumberri, M.D., Ph.D.
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston – Dr. Lecumberri’s project aims to improve the overall understanding of breathing control and how it is associated with SUDEP. The project will identify specific brain areas that are important for breathing function and develop stimulation techniques that may be used to prevent seizure-induced breathing failure. If successful, this research could be useful for developing brain stimulation strategies to prevent SUDEP. Read more »

Nigel Pedersen, M.D.
Emory University – The goal of Dr. Pedersen’s research is to understand the mechanisms underlying the well-recognized relationship between sleep and epilepsy. The team will use a mouse model of medial temporal lobe epilepsy to understand how sleep and seizure severity are related. They will then use novel techniques to manipulate specific areas of the brain to determine the impact of these brain circuits on seizures and lay the groundwork for transformative treatments for epilepsy. Read more »

Announcing our 2021 Grant Timeline!

Announcing our 2021 CURE Epilepsy grant timeline! Below please find the key dates for the CURE Epilepsy Award and Taking Flight Award grant applications. International researchers are also encouraged to submit for either award.

Additionally, information on CURE Epilepsy’s virtual booth at this year’s American Epilepsy Society (AES) Annual Meeting, details on how to participate in the Partners Against Mortality in Epilepsy (PAME) Conference virtual session, and the announcement of the CURE Epilepsy and Taking Flight Award grantees is shared below.

Key Information About the CURE Epilepsy Award and Taking Flight Awards

CURE Epilepsy Award- $250,000 over two years
This award reflects CURE’s continued focus on scientific advances that have potential to truly transform the lives of those affected by epilepsy.

Taking Flight Award – $100,000 for one year
This award seeks to promote the careers of young epilepsy investigators, allowing them to develop a research focus independent of their mentors.

Research Areas
Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), acquired epilepsy, treatment-resistant epilepsy, pediatric epilepsy and sleep and epilepsy.

Timeline for both awards

Activity Date
Request for Proposals Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Letter of Intent Deadline Monday, January 11, 2021 at 9:00pm ET
Full Application Invitations Tuesday, February 22, 2021
Full Application Deadline Thursday, April 1, 2021 at 9:00pm ET
Anticipated Award Announcement July 2021
Anticipated Project Start Date Fall 2021

Learn More

Come See Our Virtual Booth at AES2020

Join CURE Epilepsy at AES2020! We’ll be in our virtual booth Saturday, December 5 through Monday, December 7, where you can speak with leaders in the epilepsy research community and CURE Epilepsy staff to learn more about our research programs.

You’ll have the opportunity to “meet” and greet with luminaries in the field of epilepsy such as:

  • Susan Axelrod, Founder, CURE Epilepsy
  • Dr. Dan Lowenstein, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, University of California, San Francisco
  • Drs. Vicky Whittemore and Adam Hartman, Program Directors, NINDS
  • Dr. Karen Wilcox, Professor and Chair, University of Utah

View our AES2020 Booth Schedule

Partners Against Mortality in Epilepsy (PAME) Virtual Session – December 7

Join the PAME live stream on Monday, December 7 at 2:30 PM ET for a two-hour virtual session. This event will feature Victor and Libby Boyce, who lost their son Cameron to SUDEP at the age of 20, updates on new research and advocacy recommendations, and a review of Vital Topics in Epilepsy Mortality.

You can join the livestream at You do not need to be an AES attendee to participate, and it is free of cost.

Learn More

Announcing the Recent Taking Flight Award and CURE Epilepsy Award Grantees

Taking Flight Award Grantees

  • Edilberto Amorim de Cerqueira, M.D., University of California, San Francisco 
    “Personalizing Seizure Treatment After Acute Brain Injury Using EEG”
  • Mark Bennett, Ph.D., The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Australia 
    “Evaluating the Role of Repeat Expansions as a Genetic Cause of Epilepsy”
  • Ankit Khambhati, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco 
    “Stochastic, Multi-Electrode Stimulation to Probe and Perturb Abnormal Synchronization in the Human Epileptic Network”
  • Cristina Reschke, Ph.D., Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland 
    “Restoration of Circadian Function as a Novel Therapy for Epilepsy”
  • Ranmal Samarasinghe, M.D., Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
    “Utilizing Patient Derived Brain Organoids to Model the Differential Effects of SCN8A Mutation on Cortical and Hippocampal Neural Networks”

CURE Epilepsy Award Grantees

  • Cristina Gross, Ph.D. and Steven Crone, Ph.D., both of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital 
    “PI3K Signaling as a Novel Disease Mechanism-Based Target to Prevent or Reduce SUDEP”
  • Nuria Lacuey Lecumberri, M.D., Ph.D., The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston 
    “Defining Breathing Network Neuromodulatory Approaches for Prevention of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP)”
  • Nigel Pedersen, MD, Emory University 
    “Manipulating Sleep-Wake Networks to Treat Epilepsy”

Read More

CURE Epilepsy Update: November 2020

Greetings CURE Epilepsy community,

November is Epilepsy Awareness Month, an opportunity for the community to come together and raise awareness of how common epilepsy is, unite in fighting the stigma associated with epilepsy, and reinforce the importance of funding research to find a cure. The facts remain, 1 in 26 Americans will be impacted by epilepsy in their lifetime and 65 million people are living with epilepsy globally. Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disease in the US but is much less understood and receives significantly less funding than other neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s, autism, and Alzheimer’s.

As COVID-19 continues to limit our ability for in-person activities it becomes even more important to use this month to talk about epilepsy with your friends and loved ones. Throughout November, we’ll be posting videos and articles on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for you to share to spread awareness about living with epilepsy. A great place to start is with this video where people with epilepsy, families and community members share their hopes for a future free from epilepsy.

In this CURE Epilepsy update, please also find information on:

Webinar: Disparities in Epilepsy: Overcoming Barriers to Improve Care and Treatment Outcomes

Disparities in epilepsy healthcare have been identified based on factors such as socioeconomic position, race and ethnicity, and address. On Monday November 16 at 12:00 pm CT, join us for a webinar that will define the social determinants of health and health disparities and how these translate to the epilepsy community, as well as identifying strategies that can address these disparities in epilepsy care.

The Leaders in Epilepsy Research Webinar Series is made possible by the generous support of the BAND Foundation.

CURE Epilepsy Discovery: Epilepsy Surgery May Be Beneficial in Reducing SUDEP
Learn More

For people who have epilepsy surgery, there may be a reduction in death, and statistically significant fewer deaths from Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP), suggests research from CURE Epilepsy grantee Dr. Lisa Bateman (left) and her collaborator Dr. Catherine Schevon (right). Based on their analysis of data comparing mortality of those who underwent epilepsy surgery versus those who did not, Drs. Bateman and Schevon found that those who underwent surgery had a reduction not only in the occurrence of death, but significantly fewer deaths from SUDEP.

These findings provide evidence of additional potential benefits from epilepsy surgery in reducing the overall mortality rate, including SUDEP. A larger scale study will be instrumental in understanding how long these benefits last and whether there are any other factors that might predict who is at great risk for SUDEP post-surgery

New from Seizing Life, A CURE Epilepsy Podcast
Watch or listen

Catch up on the latest episodes of our Seizing Life podcast where we share:

  • Advice from our host Kelly Cervantes and her husband Miguel on how to cope with the impacts and challenges of parenting a special needs child.
    Listen or Watch
  • What two moms, Libby Boyce and Jessica Brandes, who each lost a son to SUDEP, wished they had known, and how that is driving them to transform their grief into awareness and action.
    Listen or Watch

Save The Date: Kendra Scott teams up to raise money for CURE Epilepsy
Learn More

Looking for a holiday present that both delights and gives back? Then you won’t want to miss the Kendra Scott + CURE Epilepsy “Give Back” event. Purchase any Kendra Scott item online on November 5-6 using the code GIVEBACK00CA and CURE Epilepsy will receive 20% of the proceeds. This is an exciting opportunity to buy gifts for yourself or loved ones and help fund the incredibly important epilepsy research CURE Epilepsy does.

Upcoming CURE Epilepsy Events:

CURE Epilepsy Logo

We are now CURE Epilepsy

Chicago (October 19, 2020) — Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE), the private non-profit leader laser-focused on finding a cure for epilepsy, today announced the organization’s rebrand to CURE Epilepsy. The rebrand includes a new name and logo to better align the brand with its stated mission.

CURE Epilepsy’s single-minded dedication to funding and promoting patient-focused research to find a cure for epilepsy sets the organization apart. Founded in 1998 by Susan Axelrod and a small group of fellow parents who were frustrated over the state of epilepsy treatments, they had one goal – to cure epilepsy. “The rebrand to CURE Epilepsy reinforces the core of who we are and have always been. We are tireless in our determination to find the cure for this dreadful disease that devastates so many families, so no one has to suffer another seizure, another hospital-stay, or another death from epilepsy, ever again,” said Susan Axelrod, founder of CURE Epilepsy.

The new CURE Epilepsy logo includes a bold, innovative depiction of a microscope. This icon serves to reinforce CURE Epilepsy’s unwavering commitment to accelerating breakthrough science that will help CURE Epilepsy achieve its mission. “CURE Epilepsy is known in the epilepsy community for being tenacious and determined in driving discoveries that will make the difference,” said Beth Dean, CURE Epilepsy’s CEO. “This iconic microscope represents our cutting-edge, data-driven approach to scientific study that will change our understanding of this disease so that we will one day cure epilepsy.”

Our mission is to find a cure for epilepsy by promoting and funding patient-focused research. Since its inception over 20 years ago, CURE Epilepsy has raised over $70 million to fund innovative studies to advance its goal of no seizures and no side effects. To date, CURE Epilepsy has awarded more than 240 cutting-edge research projects in 15 countries around the world. As the non-profit leader in epilepsy research, CURE Epilepsy is unwavering in its commitment to fund scientific study and accelerate research to reach our goal – a world without epilepsy. To learn more, please visit our website or contact us at

CURE Epilepsy Logo

CURE Epilepsy Virtual Seminars and More

In this month’s update, we’re excited to share that Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy, or CURE, has been renamed to CURE Epilepsy™. Our new name and logo reinforces our continued unrelenting commitment to promoting and funding patient-focused research to find a cure for epilepsy.

Last month, we celebrated the epilepsy community around the world with our first ever virtual event Unite to CURE Epilepsy. Among others, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the Chief Medical Correspondent at CNN and practicing neurosurgeon, spoke about the importance of continuing to fund epilepsy research, especially during this pandemic. You can hear his message here.

In addition, please read on to find information on:

Virtual Seminar Series from CURE and University of California – Irvine

As part of our commitment to supporting the research community through these challenging times, we have launched a virtual seminar series. Our next seminar is fast approaching on the Biological Mechanisms of SUDEP, in support of SUDEP Action day. Submit any questions you have live or ahead of time here. Mark your calendars!

In addition, Drs. Robert Hunt and Momoko Watanabe of University of California – Irvine are hosting a seminar series featuring early-career investigators. You can find more information about the topics they will cover here.

Learn More

Epilepsy Research Benchmarks: Your Ideas and Feedback Needed – October 30 Deadline

Every seven years stakeholders from across the world of epilepsy review and adjust the Epilepsy Research Benchmarks. These Benchmarks inform the epilepsy communities’ collective research priorities. You have until October 30 to share your voice and help shape the way for the next five-to-seven years of epilepsy advances.

Leave your comments today

Virtual Seminar from the NIH: Program Funding and Grants Administration – October 27 – 30

Looking to familiarize yourself with the NIH’s grants process, programs, and policies? From October 27 – 30, the NIH will be hosting a virtual seminar highlighting key information to help applicants further understand the NIH grant funding process.

This virtual seminar is designed for those who are new to the NIH grants process, with additional sessions for those who are focused on more in-depth policies and procedures.

Register here

Virtual Seminar from the NIH: Metabolism Based Therapies for Epilepsy – November 9

Metabolism-based therapies are an age-old method of treating epilepsy. Despite this, the mechanisms underlying the efficacy of these treatments are not thoroughly understood and conducting rigorous studies is challenging. Learn more about the issues from the research point of view, with the aim of further identifying those that can be addressed in future studies.

Register here

CURE Update: Thank You for Your Enduring Support

Greetings CURE community,

Before I share all the exciting news from CURE, I want to thank everyone in the community for your ongoing support during what has been a challenging year.

On Thursday, September 24, the epilepsy community came together for Unite to CURE Epilepsy: Tenacity. Discovery. Hope. Your participation in this event helped us achieve our goal of raising over $1.7 million. Your commitment to CURE will allow us to drive science forward by funding innovative research, and ultimately achieving our vision of a world without epilepsy.

As we move into October, we turn our attention to SUDEP Action Day on October 23. Don’t miss all the activities that CURE will have the week leading up to October 23 providing insight into SUDEP, research advancements that were funded by CURE, and more. We also have an exciting opportunity to have your voice heard by sharing your ideas on the future of epilepsy research with NINDS.

Learn about these opportunities and more in this month’s update:

Be well,

Beth Lewin Dean

Beth Lewin Dean, CEO

SUDEP Action Day, October 23 - Logo

SUDEP Action Day: #SpeakUp2SaveLives

Learn More

SUDEP Action Day is a global event whose purpose is to educate the epilepsy community and beyond about the risk of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP). Join CURE throughout the week leading up to Friday, October 23 for important information about SUDEP from researchers, community members, and more. And please encourage your friends and family to #SpeakUp2SaveLives.

A woman breathing into a respiratory device next to her doctor.

Webinar: Breathing and SUDEP: Research & the Influence of Seizures on the Respiratory System


SUDEP is a devastating potential outcome of epilepsy that impacts approximately 1 in 1,000 adults and children living with epilepsy every year. In our webinar on Friday, October 23 at 1:00pm CT, gain a better understanding of how our respiratory system functions, the possible relationship of breathing dysfunction to SUDEP, and potential ways to intervene and prevent SUDEP.

Our Leaders in Epilepsy Research Webinar Series is made possible by the generous support of the BAND Foundation

Epilepsy Research Benchmarks: Your Ideas and Feedback Needed

Give Your Thoughts

Every seven years stakeholders from across the world of epilepsy come together to review and adjust the Epilepsy Research Benchmarks, which inform our collective research priorities. Right now, NINDS is seeking input from clinicians, patients, and families alike on research priorities to address gaps and add additional nuance to these benchmarks.

Help pave the way for the next five to seven years of epilepsy advances.

Survey: Anxiety and Depression in People with Epilepsy

English | Spanish

Physicians at Northwestern University’s Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry are working to understand the best approach to treating depression and anxiety in people with epilepsy. If you have epilepsy or are a caregiver, or a physician for someone with epilepsy, please take 5 minutes to fill out this survey in either English or Spanish.

Catching up with CURE Grantee Dr. Heather Mefford

Learn More

Dr. Heather Mefford, a recent CURE Epilepsy Grantee, treats pediatric patients living with severe epilepsy syndromes and also heads a research lab at University of Washington.

In her CURE funded research, she is applying a new field of research, epigenetics, to epilepsy. Her study is researching genetic-based outcomes to help improve the prognosis for those with developmental and epileptic encephalopathies, a treatment-resistant epilepsy. Learn more to see about this promising approach to research that could lead to better treatments.

kendra scott logo

Save The Date: Kendra Scott Teams Up to Raise Money for CURE

Learn More

Looking for a holiday present that both delights and gives back? Then you won’t want to miss the Kendra Scott + CURE “Give Back” event. Purchase any Kendra Scott item online on November 5-6 using the code GIVEBACK00CA and CURE will receive 20% of the proceeds.

This is an exciting opportunity to buy gifts for yourself or loved ones and help fund the incredibly important epilepsy research CURE does.

Upcoming CURE Events

Seizing Life

New from Seizing Life®, a CURE Podcast

Listen or Watch

Dive into the latest episode of Seizing Life where we explore:

  • Epilepsy Surgery: Hear or watch what you should know about brain surgery for epilepsy from both the patient and physician perspective.

Researchers: CURE Funding Deadline on Friday 9/18 and More

In this month’s update, we want to take a moment to thank you. Your vital work helps give people with epilepsy and their loved ones hope that the answers they need will one day be discovered. In the spirit of hope and scientific advancement, I invite you to join us on September 24 as we bring clinicians, people with epilepsy, and families together for Unite to CURE Epilepsy, a virtual fundraising event.

This inspirational evening will be live streamed on Facebook Live and YouTube Live starting at 7PM CT. Please join us as we highlight research innovation, showcase community stories, and feature wonderful guests, like Emmy-Award Winning CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta!

In the meantime, read on to find information about:


CURE Epilepsy Research Continuity Fund Deadline September 18

Learn More

The CURE Epilepsy Research Continuity Fund will provide reimbursements of up to $15,000 for research related expenses resulting from institutional shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic and for which institutional support was not available or provided. This award is available to both early-career and established investigators.

The application deadline is Friday, September 18, 2020 at 9:00PM ET. You can find the full Request for Applications on the CURE website here. Current and former CURE grantees will be given special consideration.

Virtual Seminar Series from CURE and Beyond

As part of our commitment to supporting the research community through these challenging times, we are launching a virtual seminar series. Mark your calendars!

In addition, Drs. Robert Hunt and Momoko Watanabe of UCI are hosting a seminar series featuring early-career investigators. You can find more information about the topics they will cover here.

Epilepsy Research Benchmarks: Ideas and Feedback Needed

Give Your Thoughts

Every seven years stakeholders from across the world of epilepsy come together to review and adjust the Epilepsy Research Benchmarks, which inform our collective research priorities. Right now, NINDS is seeking input from clinicians, patients, and families alike on research priorities to address gaps and add additional nuance to these benchmarks. Help pave the way for the next five to seven years of epilepsy science. Leave your comments today.

Deadline to Apply to the NINDS Applicant Assistance Program (AAP) September 24, 2020


This program helps small businesses apply for Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funding. AAP provides participants with services such as application needs assessment, mentoring, application preparation support, and application review. If you are interested, apply by Thursday, September 24, 2020 on the AAP Application Portal.

CURE Update: Let’s Unite to CURE Epilepsy

Greetings CURE community,

Beth Lewin DeanUnite to CURE Epilepsy, our inaugural virtual fundraising event, is only a few short weeks away! I hope you’ll join us on Thursday, September 24 at 7PM CT for this inspirational evening showcasing tenacity, discovery, and hope as we raise critically needed funds to support epilepsy research.

Unite to CURE Epilepsy will be hosted by award-winning journalist and MSNBC’s Morning Joe contributor Mike Barnicle and feature Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Eric Church, and Nils Lofgren. Tune in on Facebook Live and YouTube Live for wonderful performances, research insights, and moving community stories.

Plus leading up to the event, we will highlight  the impacts of epilepsy research with a daily featured topic during CURE Week! Read on for more details.

In addition to these exciting events, in this update please find:

Discover Impacts of Research during CURE Week

Learn More

Discover fascinating research projects and learn how they have the potential to change lives during CURE Week. From September 21-25, visit our Facebook page or YouTube channel daily where we highlight the real-world, positive impacts of epilepsy research. CURE Week will explore a different topic each day; pediatric epilepsy, acquired epilepsy, treatment-resistant epilepsy, SUDEP, and the road to a cure. Join us to see how scientific advancements are making a difference for people around the world.

Webinar and Q&A: Treating Dravet Syndrome with Fenfluramine


Fenfluramine (Fintepla®) is now FDA-approved to treat Dravet syndrome. Tomorrow, September 9 at 12PM CT, leading expert Dr. Joseph Sullivan will dive into the information parents and caregivers should know, including potential side effects. After the presentation, Dr. Sullivan will address questions from the audience.

This webinar was made possible by the generous support of Zogenix.

Female psychologist working with boy who has autism and epilepsy.CURE Discovery: The Connection Between Chronic Stress, Epilepsy, and Autism

Learn More

In a CURE-funded study, Dr. Daniel Barth and his team worked to understand why chronic stress late in pregnancy and the early days of life is a risk factor for both epilepsy and autism. The team tested if stopping brain inflammation caused by stress could prevent or treat both conditions in a rat model of epilepsy and autism. Unexpectedly, they found that the treatment relieved the autistic-like symptoms but had virtually no effect on the development of epilepsy.

CURE Champions Cross the Finish Line Raising $72,000 to Support Research

Become a CURE Champion

This summer CURE Champions raised an amazing $72,000 with socially-distant fitness events! The Ella Mile and ReSearching for a CURE brought people together locally and around the country to support epilepsy research and honor the 1 in 26 Americans who will be diagnosed with epilepsy in their lifetimes.

For the Ella Mile, CURE Champion Shalee Cunneen and CURE Board Member Blake Cunneen decked out their neighborhood with signs sponsored by friends and family spaced 26 feet apart. During ReSearching for a CURE, people from around the country aimed to walk or run 26 miles in six weeks while fundraising along the way.

New from Seizing Life®, a CURE Podcast

Listen or Watch

Catch up on the latest episodes of the Seizing Life podcast where we discuss:

  • Types of seizures and epilepsy, explained in simple terms. Listen or Watch
  • How one organization created a unique housing model for individuals with special needs that aims to foster belonging and empower independence. Listen or Watch

CURE Update: Investing in Research During COVID-19

Greetings CURE community,

Last month, I wrote to you about the serious challenges facing the epilepsy research community as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As scientists slowly return to their labs, they are incurring unanticipated costs due to new requirements around personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitation, supplies and materials that are no longer usable, and supplemental salaries for staff. These unexpected costs are jeopardizing the completion of currently funded epilepsy research.

To support the dedicated scientists whose research is most vulnerable, CURE is launching the Epilepsy Research Continuity Fund (ERCF), made possible by the generous support of the Cotton Family in memory of Vivian Cotton. The ERCF will make available a total of $350,000 to researchers with active epilepsy studies to help them continue their work during the pandemic.

CURE aims to retain and support researchers who are dedicated to finding cures for epilepsy. While the pandemic has slowed down our world in many ways, epilepsy has not stopped and our research must continue.

In addition to supporting critical research projects, we will continue to support you – our community. In this update, please find:

Get a Move On: ReSearching for a CURE Ends in Two Weeks!

Donate or Register

The ReSearching for a CURE virtual scavenger hunt is still going strong, but our investigators and teams need your help! During this fitness challenge, these science sleuths aim to take a grand total of 26 million steps and raise $26,000 to support CURE’s mission.

You can support our globetrotting investigators by giving to this campaign or by joining the challenge yourself. In honor of the one in 26 Americans who will develop epilepsy in their lifetime, can you help our team reach their goals?

You’re Invited: Unite to CURE Epilepsy

Learn More

We’re bringing the epilepsy community together on Thursday, September 24 at 7PM CT, for Unite to CURE Epilepsy, our inaugural virtual fundraising event supporting cutting-edge epilepsy research! No matter where you are in the world, join us and stand shoulder to shoulder in support of scientific progress and our shared vision of a future without epilepsy.

This special evening, broadcast on Facebook Live and YouTube Live, will feature performances from amazing musical artists, a look at the epilepsy research landscape from leading scientists, and inspirational stories of tenacity, discovery, and hope.

Keep an eye on your inbox! We’re announcing a “chief” musical performer soon…

CURE Discovery: Possible Cause of Memory Issues Associated with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

Learn More

Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is often accompanied by memory issues. In a CURE-funded study, Dr. Tristan Shuman and his team built novel, cutting-edge tools and set to work studying why memory problems arise. His team studied two areas in the brain critical for memory and learning, examining how they communicate with one another.

Dr. Shuman discovered that disrupting the electrical impulses which send information between these areas of the brain caused spatial memory impairments in mouse models of epilepsy. Understanding how the flow of information through the brain is disturbed when a person has TLE is a step toward creating therapies to target and, in the future, possibly re-establishing these disrupted firing patterns.

New from Seizing Life®, a CURE Podcast

Watch or Listen

Catch up on the latest episodes of the Seizing Life podcast where we discuss:

  • The intersection of race, disability, gender, and healthcare. Listen or Watch
  • How a traumatic brain injury suffered during a training accident changed one Marine’s life. Listen or Watch

CURE Update: Epilepsy Research Needs You

Greetings CURE community,

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to dominate our lives, CURE is focusing on long-term impacts for epilepsy research. Current CURE Grantees are finding ways to continue their studies, but with severe restrictions on laboratory access, many researchers have had to limit or stop their work. Consequently, research projects will be delayed or may even be terminated altogether.

Reduced funding from institutions and government agencies also threaten the success of projects. Scientists must now not only pay their teams’ salary and manage day-to-day lab costs, but also cover unexpected expenses related to sanitation and employee protection. CURE founder, Susan Axelrod, and I further discuss the impacts of quarantine on the research community in this statement, which we encourage you to read.

The fact is that epilepsy hasn’t stopped, and neither have we. People with epilepsy and their families can’t afford for progress to be slowed or halted. Now more than ever, it is critical for CURE to continue awarding grants to dedicated scientists searching for cures. Your support enables us to fund these innovators and generate real progressPlease make your gift today to ensure a future filled with research-driven discoveries.

In addition to helping us fund future research, here are other ways you can get involved or learn more about our work:

Be well,

Beth Lewin Dean

Beth Lewin Dean, CEO

Virtual Scavenger HuntStay Fit with ReSearching for a CURE: A Virtual Scavenger Hunt


Are you up for a fitness challenge that supports epilepsy research? Sign up to be a part of ReSearching for a CURE: A Virtual Scavenger Hunt! We’re challenging all participating individuals or teams to hit 260,000 steps in four weeks, with a program-wide goal of 26 million steps, in honor of the one in 26 Americans who will develop epilepsy in their lifetimes. Any physical activity is welcome and will earn you steps!

As you digitally travel around the world during this four-week challenge, you will uncover exciting research findings and collect passport stamps. Do you think you can find all six? Assemble your team, register, and get your game face on. ReSearching for a CURE: A Virtual Scavenger Hunt officially starts on July 20.

SurveysSurveys: Epilepsy and Risks during COVID-19

Patient Survey | Caregiver Survey

Researchers at Oxford University are conducting surveys to better understand what risks people with epilepsy are facing, and what support they have to help them live well with the condition, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. All the information collected will remain anonymous.

If you are a person with epilepsy or a caregiver, please take 10-20 minutes to fill out the appropriate survey. Your responses help improve the quality of care for people with epilepsy around the world.

CURE GranteesIntroducing Our New CURE Grantees!

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We are delighted to introduce you to three newly funded CURE researchers, Drs. Detlev Boison, Chris McGraw, and James Gugger! Each researcher has a unique perspective and focus. Dr. Boison has been researching ways to prevent epilepsy for 25 years; Dr. McGraw, is a an epilepsy research fellow at Boston Children’s Hospital studying epilepsy genetics; Dr. Gugger is an epilepsy fellow at the University of Pennsylvania exploring a novel way to assess a person’s risk of developing post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE).

We are thrilled to add these promising projects to the more than 240 grants we’ve awarded in 15 countries to date.

Path to a CureCatching Up with Former CURE Grantee Dr. Gemma Carvill

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Dr. Gemma Carvill became part of the CURE research family in 2015 when she was awarded a Taking Flight grant. Since then her work has flourished. She is now a leader in epilepsy genetic research and runs a lab at Northwestern University.

Recently, she partnered with Dr. Gaetan Lesca in Italy for another CURE-funded study. Together, they discovered a new genetic cause of severe childhood epilepsy; a mutation of the CUX2 gene. Now her lab is exploring a possible new biomarker for epilepsy, which could make diagnostic testing less invasive, transforming clinical care.

Seizing LifeNew from Seizing Life®, a CURE Podcast

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Catch up on the latest episodes of the Seizing Life podcast where we discuss:

  • The balance between independence and safety for young adults with epilepsy. Listen or Watch
  • How PhD student Christin Godale went from doing everything she could to hide her epilepsy to actively advocating and researching for a cure. Listen or Watch