Recipient Thomas Urban, Pharm.D., Ph.D
“The AES Postdoctoral Research Training Fellowship program provided me with the opportunity to develop my interests in the genetic factors influencing epilepsy risk and response to treatment. Using comprehensive genomic screening techniques including genome-wide association studies, we were able to identify genomic regions that may be related to how well patients will respond to existing antiepileptic drug regimens, or whether they may experience certain side-effects from these drugs. Of particular importance was our finding that large deletions of certain segments of the genome that occur very rarely in the general population are associated with significantly increased risk of developing epilepsy. These findings provided direction for ongoing efforts to identify additional rare genetic variants predisposing to epilepsy. The importance of the support of the AES in these efforts cannot be overstated.”
Thomas Urban, Pharm.D., Ph.D.
Duke University Medical Center