AWARDS

Several awards are presented at the time of the International Epilepsy Congress.

Information on the awards and recipients may be found below.

The ILAE-IBE congress awards are presented biennially at the time of the International Epilepsy Congress, to honour individuals who have made significant contributions, over a long period of time and at international level, in the field of epilepsy. There are three categories: the Ambassador for Epilepsy Awards; the Social Accomplishment Award, presented to one individual; and the highest honour, the Lifetime Achievement Award which, as its name implies, recognises a lifetime of achievement of an individual.

Lifetime Achievement Award

This is the highest award bestowed by ILAE and IBE and is given to an individual to recognise his or her exceptional and outstanding personal contribution over a long period of time to activities to advance the cause of epilepsy.

Presented to: Shichuo Li, China

Professor Li is founder of the China Association Against Epilepsy (CAAE), establishing both the ILAE and IBE chapters in China. Internationally, Professor Li served as the Assistant Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), and WHO Representative in South Pacific (1998-2003). He is currently a member of the ILAE Global Advocacy Council. In 1996, representing the WHO Executive Board, he worked with IBE and ILAE to initiate the ILAE-IBE-WHO ‚ÄúGlobal Campaign against Epilepsy‚ÄĚ (GCAE). The Campaign was formally launched in Geneva on 19 June 1997. He introduced the very successful GCAE Demonstration Project in China. In recent years, his role was pivotal in the successful approval of the World Health Assembly Resolution 68:20 on epilepsy and the recent Resolution 73:10 on epilepsy and other neurological diseases.

 

Social Accomplishment Award

Every two years, one person who has carried out outstanding activities aimed at improving the social circumstances of people with epilepsy and those who care for them, over a long period of time, is recognised.

Presented to: Arlette Honein, Lebanon

In the early 1990s, Mrs. Honein set up a first school for children with severe epilepsy and developmental impairments who were being rejected from regular schools. The services provided include speech and occupational therapy, physical therapy, special education and psychology. She established Avance association, a role model for the Middle East in advocating for epilepsy and educating the public. For 25 years she has provided pro bono services and financial assistance for those in most need. She has advocated tirelessly with government agencies, resulting in more funds allocated for free medicines and appropriate educational and rehabilitative services for children with epilepsy. This exemplary work is recognized in Lebanon and the region as a model to emulate. During the financial crisis and the huge explosion that destroyed much of Beirut including the school that Mrs. Honein runs and Covid-19 restrictions, she has not wavered from her mission and dedication. Her work continues unabated and undeterred by these obstacles.

 

Ambassador for Epilepsy Awards

The Ambassador for Epilepsy Award is the oldest ILAE-IBE award, having been introduced in 1968. To date, a total of 325 worthy recipients have received an Ambassador pin to reflect international peer recognition and which is given for the lifetime of the recipient. Ambassadors will be presented with their awards at the IEC 2021.

Michael Alexa, Austria

A person living with epilepsy, Michael has been involved in the epilepsy world for more than 20 years and is well known in the epilepsy professional and lay communities worldwide. He has attended the majority of the IBE-ILAE international and regional epilepsy conferences over the last 20 years, at his own expense. His interventions and enthusiastic networking at congress have always made their mark and he is truly an ambassador for epilepsy.

Milan Br√°zdil, Czech Republic

At Brno Epilepsy Center since 1992, Milan Br√°zdil organises annual European Courses on Epilepsy Surgery (EPODES) for students from around the world. In 2016 he co-chaired the 12th European Congress on Epileptology (ECE) in Prague. Under his supervision, Brno Epilepsy Center became a full member of the European Reference Network (ERN) EpiCARE in 2016. He participates in IFCN-ILAE guidelines on automated seizure detection devices development.

Amy Brooks-Kayal, USA

Amy Brooks-Kayal has an outstanding record of impactful research productivity, scholarship, mentorship, and service to the epilepsy community. She is dedicated to training the next generation of clinical investigators and to promoting epilepsy research. She was instrumental in radical improvements at AES during her Presidency in 2015. She has permanent membership to NIH study sections and serves in the NINDS Advisory Council.

Jorge Burneo, Canada

Jorge Burneo was instrumental in improving epilepsy surgery services in Peru and now trains a Latin American neurologist each year in his Epilepsy Program. Former President of the Canadian League Against Epilepsy, he sits on the Executive Board of ILAE-North America. He led a task force to assess Disparities in Epilepsy Care in Canada, USA and the English-speaking Caribbean. He has trained 50 fellows from 12 countries at the Epilepsy Program in London, Ontario.

Dave F Clarke, USA

From Antigua and now based in Texas, Dave Clarke’s goal is for unity and collaboration between Texan and building capacity in Caribbean Island-countries. He believes that outreach and engagement is the way to reach and care for all children with epilepsy. He provides epilepsy clinics in St. Lucia, Antigua and Tobago, 2-3 times per year, and has improved care with shared lectures with colleagues in Martinique, Ghana, Cuba and 6 Caribbean islands.

Edouard Hirsch, France

Edouard Hirsch is Professor of Neurology at University Hospital in Strasbourg. He has undertaken clinical and research activities in Strasbourg with the support of two INSERM Units. He has worked with ILAE colleagues in Europe, America, Africa, Asia and Australia on several research topics on: pharmacology, epilepsy surgery, childhood epileptology, neurophysiology, neuropsychology, neuroimaging and genetics and published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles.

Arlette Honein, Lebanon

In the early 1990s, Mrs Honein set up a first school for children with severe epilepsy and developmental impairments who were being rejected from regular schools. The services provided include speech and occupational therapy, physical therapy, special education and psychology. She established Avance association, a role model for the Middle East in advocating for epilepsy and educating the public. For 25 years she has provided pro bono services and financial assistance for those in most need. She has advocated tirelessly with government agencies, resulting in more funds allocated for free medicines and appropriate educational and rehabilitative services for children with epilepsy. This exemplary work is recognized in Lebanon and the region as a model to emulate. During the financial crisis and the huge explosion that destroyed much of Beirut including the school that Mrs Honein runs and Covid-19 restrictions, she has not wavered from her mission and dedication. Her work continues unabated and undeterred by these obstacles.

Zhen Hong, China

Zhen Hong is President of the China Association Against Epilepsy; Professor, Department of Neurology; Director, Institute of Neurology; Chief, Epilepsy Diagnosis & Treatment Centre at Fudan University; and committee member, National Health & Family Planning Commission and Food & Drug Administration, China. An outstanding expert on epileptology, neuroepidemiology and clinical pharmacology, he received the Asian & Oceanian Outstanding Achievement Epilepsy Award in 2018.

Yushi Inoue, Japan

Yushi Inoue is an outstanding epileptologist and has made exemplary contributions to epilepsy care over a long period. He translated the ‚ÄúMOSES‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúfamoses‚ÄĚ educational programs for people with epilepsy to Japanese. After the 2011 earthquake, he set up an ‚Äúepilepsy hotline‚ÄĚ to support persons with epilepsy, receiving >1000 consultations from all over Japan in its first year. He received the Asian & Oceanian Outstanding Achievement Epilepsy Award in 2012.

Shirley Maxwell, Scotland

Based at Epilepsy Connections, Scotland since 1998, Shirley Maxwell is a member of the IBE European Regional Executive Committee since 2013, helping develop International Epilepsy Day, Chapter engagement, lobbying and awareness-raising activities, and the development of IBE’s Strategic Plan. In 2016, she contributed to the EU funded EPIPICTO project, an epilepsy information resource designed for adults with low levels literacy or recent immigrants to Europe.

Markus Reuber, United Kingdom

As its Editor-in-Chief, Seizure has become a global journal under Markus Reuber. He is a member of ILAE’s Psychiatry Commission and Psychological Treatment Task Force and Chair, PNES Task Force. He has held a Visiting Professorship at University of Shandong, China and lectured in 26 countries. His teaching activities have advanced the role of psychotherapy for individuals with epilepsy and the improvement of diagnostic and treatment services for those with PNES.

Francesca Sofia, Italy

Francesca Sofia has been elected as IBE President 2021-2025. She becomes President-elect until the start of her term in late August. She has a university degree in studied healthcare economics, policy and management. After completing her studies, she was recruited as a Research Programme Manager in the Scientific Office at the Italian Telethon Foundation. The mission of the foundation is to advance biomedical research towards the cure of genetic diseases. Key responsibilities included liaising with patients and sharing with them the knowledge of the processes and logics of therapy-driven research. In 2011, her second child (then aged 20 months) was found to be affected by epilepsy and, eventually, resistant to medications. This crisis initiated her interest in working with her national association and, more recently becoming involved in IBE activities.

Nicola Specchio, Italy

Nicola Specchio has advanced understanding of epilepsy diseases for over a decade at Bambino Ges√Ļ Children‚Äôs Hospital, Rome. He has championed global awareness of epileptic syndromes, genetic of epilepsies, and peculiar conditions associated with epilepsies. He has authored 156 peer-reviewed articles in international journals. Recent papers help summarise epileptic syndromes and their possible aetiologies, through which he has built networks with European collaborators.

Michael Sperling, USA

Michael Sperling is Editor-in-Chief of Epilepsia. He serves on the ILAE Finance Committee and on its Surgical and Driving Task Forces. He has delivered lectures at more than 70 international conferences. He has participated in several international research projects including the ILAE affiliated genetics project, international surgical collaborations; assisted with development of new epilepsy programs in Russia, Israel, Georgia, China; and trained international fellows.

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

Epilepsia¬ģ Prizes

Each year, the ILAE awards one¬†Epilepsia¬ģ¬†Clinical Science Prize¬†and one¬†Epilepsia¬ģ¬†Basic Science Prize¬†to the first authors of original research articles published in¬†Epilepsia¬ģ¬†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¬ģ Prize 2021 – Clinical Science

Christian Meisel (Germany)

Christian Meisel is awarded the¬†Epilepsia¬ģ¬†Prize¬†2021 –¬†Clinical Science¬†for the paper¬†Machine learning from wristband sensor data for wearable, noninvasive seizure forecasting,¬†Meisel et al,¬†Vol 61 issue 12,¬†EPI-00626-2020.R2,¬†epi.16719

 

Epilepsia¬ģ Prize 2021 – Basic Science

Shruthi H Iyer (USA)

Shruthi H Iyer¬†is awarded the¬†Epilepsia¬ģ¬†Prize¬†2021 –¬†Clinical Science¬†for the paper¬†Progressive cardiorespiratory dysfunction in Kv1.1 knockout mice may provide temporal biomarkers of pending sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP): The contribution of orexin,¬†Iyer et al,¬†Vol 61 issue 3,¬†EPI-00927-2019.R1

 

Epilepsia Open¬ģ¬†Prizes

Epilepsia Open¬ģ¬†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¬ģ¬†Prize¬†2021 –¬†Clinical Science

Laura Parviainen (Finland)

Laura Parviainen is awarded the¬†Epilepsia Open¬ģ¬†Prize¬†2021 –¬†Clinical Science¬†for the paper¬†Impact of diagnostic delay on seizure outcome in newly diagnosed focal epilepsy,¬†Parviainen et al,¬†Vol 5, issue 4,¬†EPI4-0069-2020.R2,¬†epi4.12443

 

Epilepsia Open¬ģ¬†Prize 2019 – Basic Science

Ying Yu (USA)

Ying Yu is awarded the¬†Epilepsia Open¬ģ¬†Prize¬†2021 –¬†Basic Science for the paper¬†COX‚Äź2/PGE2 axis regulates hippocampal BDNF/TrkB signaling via EP2 receptor after prolonged seizures,¬†Yu et al, Volume 5, issue 3, EPI4-0006-2020.R2, epi4.12409

 

Epileptic Disorders Educational Prize

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

James Barnett (USA)

James Barnett is awarded the Epileptic Disorders Educational Prize 2021 for the paper, Characterizing Sunflower syndrome: a clinical series by Barnett, James; Fleming, Bradley M; Geenen, Kennedy Rens; Sourbron, Jo; Freedman, Jason; Bruno, Patricia L; Thiele, Elizabeth Anne.

Presented biennially, the Michael Prize was originally set up in 1963 to stimulate epilepsy research among young scientists in Germany. It is now one of the most highly regarded international awards for the best contribution to scientific and clinical research which promote further development in epileptology.

The Michael Prize 2021 was advertised for research in one of the following fields:

  • Psychiatry, Psychology, Neuropsychology
  • Pharmacology
  • Neuropathology

It is awarded to Katja Kobow, Associate Professor in Molecular Neuropathology at the University Hospital Erlangen, Germany

Katja Kobow started her research career in 2005 with a thesis addressing DNA methylation in human brain tissue obtained from epilepsy surgery; the paper was published in 2009 and was followed by a series of visible research articles on the topic of epigenetics and epilepsy. She got her doctoral degree in 2009 at the University of Erlangen and habilitated in 2019 in the field of molecular neuropathology. She is medical assessor for several important scientific journals and
Review Editor for Epilepsia and Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience.

Katja Kobow was awarded the Michael Prize for her three excellent publications in the past few years on her important research in the field of molecular neuropathology. Katja Kobow is an excellent researcher, who significantly contributed to the field of molecular neuropathology of epilepsy, studying DNA methylation in human brain tissue obtained from epilepsy surgery. Katja Kobow already became one of the leading researchers in the field of epigenetics in epilepsy at a relatively young age. Beyond this specific research focus she is also founding member of the Young Epilepsy Section of the ILAE (ILAE-YES), as well as an invited member on ILAE task forces and commissions.

Katja Kobow has submitted three excellent and highly relevant publications which provide¬†evidence for epigenetic changes as molecular pathomechanism in epilepsy and for disease‚Äźspecific¬†methylation signatures of human epileptogenic brain lesions. In particular, her recent studies¬†support an integrated molecular-genetic and histological disease classification of cortical¬†malformations including Focal Cortical Dysplasia and Polymicrogyria. Her relevant and innovative
line of research applied to neuropathology of epilepsy paves the way for future developments in diagnostic and therapeutic approaches in epilepsy.

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 Recipients 2021

Gabriele Lignani, PhD
UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, London, UK

“Activity-dependent Gene Therapy for Intractable Epilepsy”

Dr Gabriele Lignani is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy at the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology. The main focus of his lab is finding novel gene therapy approaches for intractable neurological diseases, with rapid potential for translation. His research starts by investigating the pathophysiological mechanisms of disease and then use novel insights to develop and improve therapeutic tools to cure them.  His Team uses cutting-edge technologies such as CRISPR and synthetic promoters to overcome current limitations to gene therapy and develop new approaches for curing currently untreatable genetic diseases such as Dravet Syndrome, and acquired drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsies.

Hyunyong Koh, MD PhD
Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston MA, USA

“Non-cell autonomous hyperexcitability underlies focal epileptogenesis mediated by low-level brain somatic mutations in MTOR”

Hyunyong Koh is a post-doctoral trainee at the Epilepsy Genetics Program in the Department of Neurology in Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School since 2019, working on human genetics and translational neurobiology of children having rare genetic epilepsies and zebrafish models with Dr Annapurna Poduri MD MPH. He received his MD from CHA University School of Medicine and PhD from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea, studying the role of brain somatic mutation in BRAF and MTOR genes affecting neural circuits and behaviours in focal cortical dysplasia and ganglioglioma with Dr Jeong Ho Lee MD PhD. His research interests are discovering epilepsy-causing genes by variable alterations including de novo mosaic and germline mutation, understanding molecular mechanisms and neuroscience of genetic epilepsies throughout the animal models, and developing novel therapies for unmet-medical needs in epilepsy patients.