Several awards will be presented at the International Epilepsy Congress 2019, honouring individual’s contributions to epilepsy treatment and care.

The awards and recipients are detailed in the sections below.

We are pleased to announce the winners of ILAE-IBE Congress Awards. These awards will be presented at the International Epilepsy Congress, and honour individuals who have made significant contributions over a long period of time and at an international level, to the field of epilepsy.

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award is the ultimate award, given to those truly exceptional persons, internationally acclaimed and with a long record of exemplary work. Only when an individual is deemed to adequately reflect the criteria required for consideration will this award be presented.

W Allen Hauser (USA)

Willard Allen Hauser is Professor Emeritus of Neurology and Epidemiology at Columbia University where he has taught, done research and treated people with epilepsy over the past 40 years. His accomplishments over five decades include studies on age- and gender-related incidence and prevalence, prognosis for seizure remission, concept on recurrence after acute and unprovoked seizures, studies of mortality, quantification of risk for epilepsy for conditions such as stroke, brain trauma, CNS infection and others, unravelling bi-directional association between epilepsy and co-morbidities, epidemiologic studies of status epilepticus. These studies revolutionized the understanding of epidemiology and risk factors of epilepsy and formed the ground of the ILAE operational classification of the disease.


Social Accomplishment Award

The Award for Social Accomplishment in Epilepsy is given to an individual to recognise his or her outstanding personal contribution to activities that have resulted in a significant advance in the social well being and or quality of life of people with epilepsy. These contributions and activities should either have been performed at an international level or they should have had an international impact or significance.

Carlos Acevedo (Chile)

Carlos Acevedo has served several terms as President of the IBE chapter in Chile and is currently a member of its board. He has also served a number of terms on the board of the International Bureau of Epilepsy. including serving as Secretary General.

Under his leadership, the Chilean League Against Epilepsy became both a national and international recognized Institution for its contribution for people with epilepsy and their families, through many initiatives, becoming a model for similar i nstitutions throughout Latin America and the world.

In the past number of years, he has devoted his efforts to the development and approval at the PAHO Assembly in Washington, in 2010, of the Strategic Plan of Epilepsy for America and the Caribbean, with ILAE and PAHO representatives. While he has been involved in the implementation of this major plan, he is also currently directing the WHO Collaborating Centre for Education and Service Development for People with Epilepsy at LICHE.


Ambassador for Epilepsy Awards

The Ambassador for Epilepsy Award is intended as a recognition of outstanding international contributions to activities advancing the cause of epilepsy, either internationally or with international impact.

Amza Ali (Jamaica)

Amza Ali is founding President of the Jamaican League Against Epilepsy (ILAE chapter) and the Jamaican Epilepsy Association (IBE chapter). His efforts saw the inclusion, in 2004, of epilepsy as one of the 14 chronic conditions covered by Jamaica’s National Health Fund. He was responsible for creation of the region’s first video-EEG monitoring unit and the establishment of a telemedicine facility (2011-2014) with linkage to Yale’s Department of Neurology.

Sándor Beniczky (Denmark)

Sándor Beniczky has been the coordinator of VIREPA teaching courses since 2014 and co-director of the Basic EEG course (2012-2018). He has been member of the ILAE Education Commission/Epilepsy-Education Taskforce since 2012, is a member of the ILAE certification taskforce, and participated in developing ILAE’s curriculum for epileptologists. In September 2018, he was appointed editor-in-chief of Epileptic Disorders, the Educational Journal of the ILAE.

Carol Camfield (Canada)

A founding member of Epilepsy Nova Scotia, Carol Camfield is best known (with her husband, Peter) for developing a population-based cohort that includes every child who developed epilepsy in Nova Scotia 1977-85 with follow up for 20-35 years, providing unique insights on the medical and social evolution of epilepsy, applicable throughout the world. In recent years she has focused on the theme of transition from pediatric to adult care for youth with epilepsy.

Peter Camfield (Canada)

Peter Camfield has worked closely throughout his career with Dr Carol Camfield. He is passionate about international activities in epilepsy, particularly through teaching and clinical research. He has travelled to 24 different countries to teach about epilepsy and clinical research methods and to establish research collaborations. He was a member of the ILAE Commission on Outcome Measurement 1995-1997.

John Dunne (Australia)

John Dunne is committed to promoting epilepsy in the Asian and Oceanic region and is chairman of the Asian Epilepsy Academy (ASEPA). He has been dedicated to bringing EEG teaching to countries across our region including China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Timor Leste, Mongolia, Korea, India, Japan, The Philippines, Bangladesh, Laos and Viet Nam. In recognition of his commitment to training he was made a member of the Faculty of Five Hundred.

Sheryl Haut (USA)

Sheryl Haut has pioneered initiatives that promote mentoring and leadership development in early- and mid-career epilepsy professionals globally and advancing the quality of health care for people with epilepsy internationally, through promoting partnerships and exchange of expertise across epilepsy centers in the Americas. She co-chairs the ILAE leadership development task force and was Chair of the ILAE North American Commission 2013-2017.

Matthias Koepp (United Kingdom)

Matthias Koepp was appointed as Consultant Neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology in 1999. In 2008, he was appointed Professor of Neurology at UCL Institute of Neurology. From 2005 to 2016 he was a member of the ILAE Commission on Diagnostic Methods, leading the Task Force on Neuroimaging from 2008-2012. This led to a position paper on MRI practice parameters and a neuroimaging course at Montreal Neurological Institute.

Marco Medina (Honduras)

Marco Medina is professor in Neurology and Epileptology at the National Autonomous University of Honduras. Past chair of the ILAE Commission on Latin American Affairs, he is a member of the PAHO Plan of Action on Epilepsy task force and Director of the WHO Collaborating Center on epilepsy in Honduras. He is founding President of the ILAE chapter in Honduras and a member of Editorial Board of Epilepsia Open and has received numerous other awards.

Janet Mifsud (Malta)

Janet Mifsud set up Caritas Malta Epilepsy Association (IBE) in 1996 and Epilepsy Society of Malta (ILAE) in 1997. She led epilepsy-related activities in Malta, including the introduction of epilepsy in the curriculum of several health care degrees. She has worked in the epilepsy field at European and international levels, involved in several European Epilepsy Research projects and serving as IBE Vice President Europe for two terms.

Osman Miyanji (Kenya)

Osman Miyanji is a Senior Consultant in Paediatrics and Paediatric Neurology in two of Kenya’s leading hospitals. He is a founding volunteer director, Medical Advisor and Chairman of the Board of Directors at KAWE (IBE chapter). He has demonstrated that a sustainable epilepsy program can be run effectively in resource limited settings and is passionate about reducing the cost of treatment and making epilepsy care accessible to the poor and needy.

Tatsuya Tanaka (Japan)

Tatsuya Tanaka was appointed Professor of Neurosurgery in Asahikawa Medical College in 1997, becoming Professor Emeritus in 2010, and was one of the most active leaders in epilepsy surgery in Japan. He pioneered the Japan Epilepsy Society (JES) scholarship system for young delegates in the Asian Oceanian countries to meet the gap in those underserved areas. He served as ILAE First Vice President and Chair of the ILAE-Asia and Oceania Region.

Sanjeev Thomas (India)

Sanjeev Thomas is a member of the ILAE Commission on Medical Therapy of Epilepsy, the Women and Pregnancy Task Force, and the new ILAE-Lancet Neurology Commission (all for 2017- 21). He is most widely known for his work for the women with epilepsy and the Kerala Registry of Epilepsy and Pregnancy. He promotes the training of neurologists from Africa and Asia in his Institute and has trained neurologists from Kenya, Bangladesh, Kuwait and Oman. He actively promotes epilepsy through public education.

The IBE International Golden Light Awards recognise the contributions of people affected by epilepsy in their community and those who care for them.

Candidates were nominated by the IBE chapter in which they are involved (as a member, volunteer, board or staff member) and were required to submit a written article telling the story of their life with epilepsy. Click on a winner’s picture below to see their article.

IBE Golden Light Awardees 2019

Sofia Betanzo (Chile)

Elizabeth Dueweke (USA)

Emma Lovise Larsen (Norway)

Nina Mago (Uganda)

Rebecca McGhee (Scotland)

Scarlett Paige (Australia)

Amirsoheil Pirayeshfar (Iran)

Mohammad Agus Rahmatulloh (Indonesia)

Epilepsia® Prizes 2019

Each year, the ILAE awards one Epilepsia® Clinical Science Prize and one Epilepsia® Basic Science Prize to the first authors of original research articles published in Epilepsia® which in the opinion of the Awards Committee have contributed to the most significant advances to knowledge and understanding in clinical science or basic science respectively in the field of epilepsy.

Epilepsia® Prize 2019 – Clinical Science

Suejen Perani (Germany)

Suejen Perani came from the world of Psychological Science and her BA was awarded in Milan, Italy. She moved to Cognitive Neuroscience with her MSc in London. It is here that she approached the field of Clinical Neuroscience, particularly epilepsy surgery (ECoG-fMRI) localisation and diagnosis (EEG-fMRI) during her MSc thesis topic and her related job as research assistant at University College London. She then followed this passion up with a PhD in Clinical Neuroscience at King’s College London & University College London. In total, after 8 years in the field of research and epilepsy, she has recently moved to the field of business in neuroscience.

Suejen Perani was awarded the Epilepsia® Prize 2019 for Clinical Science for her paper, Thalamic volume reduction in drug-naive patients with new-onset genetic generalized epilepsy, by Perani, STierney, TMCenteno, M, et al. Thalamic volume reduction in drug‐naive patients with new‐onset genetic generalized epilepsyEpilepsia201859226– 234.

Epilepsia® Prize 2019 – Basic Science

Nicholas Couturier (USA)

Nicholas Couturier is a PhD student in the department of Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland Ohio. He is a member of Dr. Dominique Durand’s lab in the Neural Engineering Center and is focused on fiber tract stimulation techniques for treating refractory epilepsies. Nicholas will defend his dissertation within the next year on corpus callosum stimulation for cortical epilepsy.

Nicholas Couturier was awarded the Epilepsia® Prize 2019 for Basic Science for his paper, Corpus callosum low‐frequency stimulation suppresses seizures in an acute rat model of focal cortical seizuresCouturier, NHDurand, DMCorpus callosum low‐frequency stimulation suppresses seizures in an acute rat model of focal cortical seizuresEpilepsia2018592219– 2230.


Epilepsia Open® Prizes 2019

Epilepsia Open® Prizes started in 2018 and are given to the two best original articles, clinical and basic science, that were published during the preceding year.

Epilepsia Open® Prize 2019 – Clinical Science

Sharon Chiang (USA)

Sharon Chiang was awarded the Epilepsia Open® Prize 2019 for Clinical Science for her paper, Epilepsy as a dynamic disease: A Bayesian model for differentiating seizure risk from natural variability, by Sharon Chiang, Marina Vannucci, Daniel M. Goldenholz, Robert Moss, John M. Stern, Epilepsia Open, 3(2):236–246, 201.

Sharon Chiang is a statistician and neurology physician resident in the Department of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco. She received her MD from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and received her PhD in Statistics from Rice University in Houston, Texas. During her PhD she worked on developing new Bayesian statistical methods for estimating connectivity networks and integrating multimodal spatiotemporal datasets into improving statistical variable selection procedures, including resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), structural MRI, and positron emission tomography (PET) imaging.

Epilepsia Open® Prize 2019 – Basic Science

Jesús-Servando Medel Matus (USA)

Jesús-Servando Medel-Matus was awarded the Epilepsia Open® Prize 2019 for Basic Science for his paper, Facilitation of kindling epileptogenesis by chronic stress may be mediated by intestinal microbiome, by Jesus-Servando Medel-Matus, Don Shin, Edward Dorfman, Raman Sankar, Andrey Mazarati, Epilepsia Open, 3(2):290–294, 2018.

Jesús-Servando Medel-Matus is a postdoctoral fellow in the Developmental Epilepsy Research Laboratories at the David Geffen School of Medicine of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He graduated with honours from the Master and PhD programs of the Neuroethology Institute at the University of Veracruz, Mexico. During his PhD studies he worked on the evaluation of the role of neuroinflammation mediators on the neuronal death induced by status epilepticus in the developing brain. At present he is focused on the study of the neurobehavioral comorbidities of epilepsy.


Epileptic Disorders Educational Prize 2019

Epileptic Disorders and the ILAE identify and honor the paper which has made the most significant contribution to the educational mission of Epileptic Disorders, published the previous year in our journal.

Guadalupe Fernandez-Baca Vaca (USA)

Dr. Guadalupe Fernandez Baca Vaca was awarded the Epileptic Disorders Educational Prize 2019 for her paper, Epileptic Seizure Semiology in Different Age Groups, by Guadalupe Fernandez-Baca Vaca, Carlos L. Mayor , Naiara García Losarcos, Jun T. Park, Hans O. Lüders, Epileptic Disorders 2018; 20 (3): 179-88.

Guadalupe Fernandez Baca Vaca was born in Malaga, Spain. She graduated from Malaga School of Medicine and completed residency training in Clinical Neurophysiology at Hospital Clinico San Carlos in Madrid. She also completed her Neurology Residency and Epilepsy Fellowship at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. Dr Fernandez Baca Vaca is currently an Assistant Professor in Neurology and Program Director for Epilepsy Fellowship and has devoted herself to teaching, academic clinical practice and clinical research at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.

The Michael Prize, presented biennially, was originally set up to stimulate epilepsy research among young scientists (under 45 years of age) in Germany. It is now an international award for the best scientific and clinical research promoting the further development in epileptology.

Michael Prize Winners 2019

Stephanie Baulac (France)

Dr. Stéphanie Baulac is a research director and group leader at Institut du Cerveau et de la Moëlle in Paris. In the field of epilepsy genetics Stéphanie Baulac must be considered as an excellent researcher, who significantly contributed to the current state-of-knowledge based on a long list of highly relevant and outstanding publications. Her studies resulted in the identification of several epilepsy genes. In this context, it needs to be emphasized that our growing understanding of epilepsy genetics significantly contributes to an improved clinical management with precise prognoses and even more importantly novel opportunities for tailored and personalized therapeutic approaches.

Stéphanie Baulac already became one of the leading and very renowned researchers in the field at a relatively young age. She dedicated her complete professional career to the improvement of our understanding of the genetic causes of epilepsies.

Stéphanie Baulac has submitted three excellent and highly relevant publications, which are focused on the identification and characterization of germline, germline/mosaic, and brain somatic mutations of DEPDC5 in focal epilepsies. As DEPDC5 serves as a negative regulator of the mTORC1 signaling pathway, loss-of-function mutations cause mTORC1 hyperactivity. Building on her previous work, the role of respective mutations in the pathophysiology of focal cortical dysplasia has also been demonstrated by the price candidate. In an elegant approach, the relevance of a clinical genetic finding with a DEPDC5 mosaic mutation was further confirmed by functional characterization of a mouse model, which has been generated based on CRIPS-Cas9 editing and in utero electroporation. This represents an outstanding example of genetic research, with which the functional implications of clinical genetic findings are further explored by experimental work.

As pointed out in one of the candidate’s publications the findings suggest promising therapeutic avenues for treatment of drug-resistant focal epilepsy with mTORC1-targeting approaches, which are already applied in other etiologies.

Dr. Baulac has thus contributed significantly to the area of epilepsy genetics, which makes her a worthy holder of the Michael Prize 2019.


Birgit Frauscher (Canada)

Dr. Birgit Frauscher from the department of neurology and neurosurgery at McGill University in Canada is a valuable and esteemed member of our research community due to her outstanding work in neurophysiology of epilepsy.

There are important interactions between sleep and epilepsy; sleep may influence the occurrence of epileptic seizures, and epilepsy may affect sleep. Dr Frauscher, who had been already well known for her excellent works in sleep research, extended her skills and experiences in sleep field to epileptology.  In her article selected for the Michael Prize (Frauscher B, von Ellenrieder N, Ferrari-Marinho T, Avoli M,Dubeau F, Gotman J. Facilitation of epileptic activity during sleep is mediated by high amplitude slow waves. Brain 2015; 138: 1629-41), she found the important role of high synchronization during the sleep slow waves to facilitate epileptic activity by using combined scalp-intracerebral electroencephalography. In another selected publication (Sleep, 2015), on the other hand, she showed the negative influence of interictal spiking on the occurrence of sleep spindles in the area of hippocampus.

In addition to her further excellent and relevant research works using the extra- and intracranial EEGs including the nature and significance of spikes, high and slow frequency activities in seizure generation and location, Dr Frauscher also investigated the physiological oscillations or region-specific normative values to better differentiate pathological activities in epilepsy. A third selected article “Atlas of the normal intracranial electroencephalogram” (Brain, 2018) then provided a normative baseline in different cortical areas which should serve as a reference in investigating the abnormal activities of the brain.

Dr. Frauscher has thus contributed significantly to the area of neurophysiology in epilepsy, which makes her a worthy holder of the Michael Prize 2019.

The Harinarayan Young Neuroscientist Award of the ILAE Neurobiology Commission is designed to reward young basic science investigators (within 10 years of completing PhD or MD training) who submit an abstract to the International Epilepsy Congress.

The Award is generously supported by a donation of the Harinarayan Family. Candidates are selected by the members of the ILAE Neurobiology Commission. The Prize will be acknowledged during the Welcome Ceremony and will be awarded during the Neurobiology Symposium.

Harinarayan Young Neuroscientist Award winners 2019:

Sarah Buck (United Kingdom)

Abstract:  Dynamic changes in episodic memory functional connectivity after anterior temporal lobe resection

Buck S, Caciagli L, Vos SB, Duncan JS, Sidhu MK

Sarah Buck is originally from Belgium and moved to London in 2014 to pursue her career as a neuroscientist. She is now working at the Institute of Neurology (UCL) in the Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, and is examining the contribution of altered memory networks to neuropsychological symptoms. Sarah is also investigating changes in the memory network after surgical intervention to study a) the effect of surgery on network connectivity and b) plasticity of the memory network after surgery. The overall aim of her research is to guide surgical-decision making and reduce the risk of memory decline after epilepsy surgery.


Gautham K Bhargava (India)

Abstract:  Phase amplitude coupling of low frequencies with high frequency oscillations localizes epileptogenic zone in magnetoencephalography (MEG)

Bhargava GK, Narayannan M, Ramon C, Kandavel T, Kenchaiah R, Mundlamuri R, Bharath RD, Saini J, Arima A, Bhaskara Rao M, Sinha S

Gautham Bahargava is pursuing his PhD in Clinical Neurosciences in NIMHANS. His PhD thesis deals with drug resistant epilepsy and new methodologies of localization and characterization of epileptogenic zone in epilepsy surgery and network changes in epilepsy. He is presently involved in routine analysis of MEG recordings and in the presurgical evaluation for epilepsy surgical candidates in the epilepsy programme at NIMHANS, as well as being involved in the routine clinical care of epilepsy patients through the out-patient department. His research interests include scale free activity and its applications in MEG, oscillatory activity and changes in epilepsy and network changes in epilepsy.