Patel tapped for Dream Team to fight Childhood Epilepsy Syndrome

By Staff

Manisha Patel, professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, has been selected to lead one of eight “Dream Teams” of research scientists tasked with curing childhood epilepsy at a variety of institutions throughout the country. Funding comes from Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE). Patel’s team includes Kelly Knupp, assistant professor of pediatrics-neurology at the School of Medicine, and Joe Gomez, a senior professional research assistant in pharmaceutical sciences.

Since announcing the launch of its new Infantile Spasms Research Initiative earlier this year, CURE has awarded eight teams of investigators $1.3 million in grants to proceed with cutting-edge research to find a cure for infantile spasms, a rare childhood epilepsy syndrome. Infantile spasms (IS) can have profoundly negative long-term developmental and cognitive consequences. Available treatments are often ineffective and frequently associated with substantial adverse effects.

According to CURE, the lead investigators bring a wealth of expertise and perspectives to the overall team that spans adult and pediatric neurology, basic mechanisms of the epilepsies, animal modeling, human genetics and clinical trial design and execution.

"A big part of what we do at CURE is break down the barriers that have impeded progress towards cures," said Susan Axelrod, chair and founding member of the organization. "This dream team is a powerful alliance, and we are proud to have brought them together in pursuit of a cure."

The projects associated with this initiative involve investigators at multiple institutions, emphasizing a novel, team approach to research. This pioneering approach encourages the investigators to function as a united team and remain focused on the common goal of finding a cure for infantile spasms.