Our Research Portfolio

Every year we receive between 60 and 70 applications for research into all aspects of epilepsy, and our Scientific Advisory Committee has the task of deciding which of these should be supported. The quality grants that we have awarded in recent years are shown below (most recent first).

Sadly, our funding capacity each year is relatively limited, which means that promising applications have to be rejected. Your donation, no matter how large or small, will help us to fund as much excellent research as possible in the future!


The immune system and epilepsy – exploring unanswered questions

Grant winner 2016: “This research will increase our understanding and knowledge of how the immune system may be implicated in the production of seizures, with aims to develop improved treatments with reduced side effects.” Dr Sukhvir Wright

Investigating a new model of genetic epilepsy

Grant winner 2016: “Individuals who carry mutations in genes that encode receptors activated by the excitatory neurotransmitter, glutamate, can suffer from a variety of disorders, many of which are associated with epilepsy. While our previous research has focused on studying glutamate receptors and their role in neuronal communication, the project funded by ERUK allows us to extend our work to a pre-clinical model that is a direct correlate of epileptic encephalopathy.” Professor David Wyllie

A new approach to blocking seizure networks in temporal lobe epilepsy

Grant winner 2016: “Forward thinking strategies for the most difficult to treat types of epilepsy are desperately needed. I will test whether controlling the activity of entire seizure generating networks, as opposed to just the seizure foci, can be a more effective treatment to block seizures. To do so, I will use the technology of optogenetics, which has the potential to be translated to the clinic in the coming years, but can also “shine a light” on novel cellular targets to efficiently block seizures for other forms of clinical interventions” Alfredo Gonzalez-Sulser

Transplanting human nerve cells to treat epilepsy

Grant winner 2016: “This is an exciting project that will give significant insights into the feasibility of cell transplantation for treating seizures and cognitive problems in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy.” Professor Liam Gray

Is inflammation in tuberous sclerosis a sign of epileptic activity?

Grant winner 2016: We are really grateful to Epilepsy Research UK for offering us the possibility of exploring this exciting approach. If the new PET-MRI scanner methods help us find where these patients’ seizures come from, many more patients will be able to undergo surgery in the future.” Professor Alexander Hammers

The link between sleep problems in infants with epilepsy and social and cognitive development

Grant winner 2016: “Our data will indicate whether offering a standard sleep assessment using sleep diaries or actigraphy for newly diagnosed infants would be a low-cost and effective way to avoid cascading consequences of early sleep problems on subsequent socio-cognitive development. Since sleep is a modifiable risk factor, sleep problems could be addressed if picked up early, which could reduce seizure incidence, lead to an increased quality of life of families, and save costs.

We also aim to communicate the results of our study to caregivers and clinicians as quickly as possible in order to draw their attention onto the importance of sleep in early onset epilepsy.” Dr Manuela Pisch

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