2019 DSF Grant Awardees

DSF is dedicated to funding the highest caliber research on Dravet syndrome and associated epilepsies. Our focus is on research projects that will find new treatments and improve the quality of life for those living with an ion channel epilepsy. We place a high priority on funding research that has a clear path to genetic understanding, clinical application, and/or therapeutic development. We are pleased to announce the 2019 Research Grant Awards. Thanks to the financial support of our community, we were able to award two 2-year research awards, bringing our grants awarded to $4.5M since 2009.

Danielle Andrade, MD, MSc – University of Toronto
Multi-modal assessment of adults with Dravet syndrome

Dr. Andrade plans to better characterize the adult patient with Dravet syndrome. She will study balance, gait, posture, memory, ability to perform day-to-day activities, and genome in a cohort of adults with Dravet syndrome to test the hypothesis that there may be premature brain aging in adult patients. They also plan to explore whether previous use of contraindicated medications influence adult outcome.

Jennifer Kearney, PHD – Northwestern University
MicroRNA-mediated modification of Dravet syndrome

Dr. Kearney plans to investigate microRNAs (small RNA molecules that regulate expression of gene products) and their modulation of Nav1.1. They have identified two miRNAs that are elevated following seizures and can reduce SCN1A expression and hypothesize that this may contribute to disease progression. She will study this relationship further and evaluate this pathway as a therapeutic target for Dravet syndrome.

A complete overview of all the projects DSF has funded since 2009 can be found here.