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News Release

School of Pharmacy researcher receives Epilepsy Innovator Award

12/10/2009

Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE) announces fall grant recipients

AURORA, Colo. (Dec. 10, 2009) – A researcher at University of Colorado Denver’s School of Pharmacy has been named as one of three recipients of a $50,000, 2010 Innovator award from Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE). Innovator Awards are one-year grants in support of the exploration of a highly innovative new concept or untested theory that addresses an important problem relevant to epilepsy. Manisha Patel, PhD, an associate professor at UC Denver’s School of Pharmacy, received her Innovator Award for the Treatment of Epilepsy with a Catalytic Antioxidant.

“The vast majority of epilepsy research is focused on channels and synapses and only a minority focuses on metabolic processes,” said Patel. “Although anticonvulsant drugs remain frontline therapies for controlling epilepsies, the search for novel disease-modifying drugs is highly desirable to halt the development, progression and cognitive changes associated with chronic seizures. This CURE award will enable us to conduct a proof-of-principle study to test the benefits of a unique antioxidant compound that targets metabolic dysfunction.”

Launched this year, the CURE Innovator Award is not intended to support a logical progression of an already established research project but instead allows principal investigators (PIs) the opportunity to pursue innovative research studies. This award mechanism supports high-risk studies that have the potential to reveal entirely new avenues for investigation. Research completed through an Innovator Award strives to provide sufficient preliminary data to enable the PI to prepare a proposal for future research.

CURE awards seed grants for novel research projects that address the goals of "no seizures, no side effects," and specifically those that address the following needs: prevention of epilepsy, including post-traumatic epilepsy; advancement of the search for a cure; elimination of treatment side effects; and reversal of cognitive deficits caused by frequent seizures. The need for epilepsy research is imperative; epilepsy is as common as breast cancer, and claims as many lives each year.

Five research awards were also given in the Prevention of Epilepsy after Traumatic Brain Injury category.

Since its inception in 1998, CURE has raised more than $10 million to fund 93 cutting-edge research projects around the world as well as landmark conferences, workshops, and other infrastructures that support scientists in their quest for a cure. For additional information on CURE, please visit www.CUREepilepsy.org.

About the University of Colorado Denver
The University of Colorado Denver is located on two campuses, the Denver Campus and the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo. UC Denver offers more than 120 degrees and programs in 13 schools and colleges and serves more than 28,000 students. For more information, visit the UC Denver Newsroom.
About CURE
CURE is a nonprofit organization founded by parents of children with epilepsy who were frustrated with their inability to protect their children from the devastation of seizures and the side effects of medications. CURE is dedicated to finding a cure for epilepsy by raising funds for research and by increasing awareness of the prevalence and devastation of this disease. CURE is the proud recipient of Charity Navigator's highest rating. Ninety four cents of every dollar CURE receives goes directly to epilepsy research and awareness programs.

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Contact: Caitlin Jenney, 303.315.6376, caitlin.jenney@ucdenver.edu