The epilepsy advocacy organization Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE) gave a "Taking Flight" award to a Children's Hospital neurologist to study how transplanted cells could be used to treat epilepsy.

Ethan Goldberg, MD, PhD , was one of three researchers to receive a one-year grant of up to $100,000 designed to "promote the careers of young investigators and support them as they develop an independent research focus," according to CURE.

A brain disorder marked by seizures of varying intensity and type, epilepsy affects approximately 2 million Americans. With this investigation, Dr. Goldberg seeks novel treatments for forms of epilepsy that are resistant to standard medication. Using a mouse model, his research team will assess the "functional integration of transplanted interneurons" as well as whether transplanted cells can reduce or eliminate seizures in patients with epilepsy.

"Cell-based therapies offer hope of a future cure for our patients who are in greatest need, although significant additional basic science research is required to realize this potential," Dr. Goldberg said. "This generous grant from CURE will greatly assist in getting this project off the ground and pushing it forward."

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has a robust epilepsy treatment and research program. Part of its division of neurology , the Pediatric Regional Epilepsy Program 's multidisciplinary team of clinicians, nurse practitioners, and researchers collaborate with families to design personalized treatment plans that best control epilepsy with as few side effect as possible.

Dr. Goldberg has been working with Children's Hospital's Stewart A. Anderson, MD , associate professor and research director of child psychiatry at CHOP, as well as Jennifer Tyson, a graduate student in Dr. Anderson's laboratory.