Daniel’s first experience with epilepsy and absence seizures was his mother explaining why his older brother, Martin, would often become still and why they needed to “wake him up.” Martin had an injury at the age of 5 that left him without a quarter of his brain, but he made a miraculous recovery. However, since the accident, he has continually suffered from post-stroke epilepsy.
Daniel graduated in 2013 and, unsure of his future career path, realized his interest was in learning and discovering more about epilepsy. He wanted to learn why our brains can sometimes fire unexpectedly and uncontrollably, as Martin’s does. Daniel joined an epilepsy laboratory at his undergraduate institution, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and made two important discoveries in the field of epilepsy – more specifically in status epilepticus (SE). His findings were published in two journal articles (citation in and recently were the subject of a commentary report in the Epilepsy Currents medical journal.
Martin’s experience with epilepsy had a dramatic effect on Daniel and inspired him to pursue a career as a pediatric neurologist. This fall, Daniel will be attending medical school at the Indiana School of Medicine. He will continue researching childhood epilepsy so that children like Martin won’t have to begin their lives with the social, physical, and mental burden that epilepsy causes.