ORLANDO, Fla. ― Brenda E. Porter, MD, PhD, FAES, was awarded the J. Kiffin Penry Award for Excellence in Epilepsy Care during the 2023 Annual Meeting of the American Epilepsy Society (AES). The J. Kiffin Penry Award for Excellence in Epilepsy Care honors Dr. Penry’s lifelong focus on and genuine concern for people with epilepsy. It recognizes individuals whose work has had a major impact on patient care and has improved the quality of life for persons with epilepsy. The award is funded through the AES J. Kiffin Penry Fund.
Dr. Porter is a professor of neurology at Stanford University and director of the Pediatric Epilepsy Program at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, both in Palo Alto, Calif. She received her MD and PhD from Washington University, St. Louis, in neurobiology and medicine, then traveled east to complete her child neurology fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where she went on to complete a combined clinical and research fellowship in epilepsy.
Dr. Porter’s clinical practice focuses on tuberous sclerosis, complex and difficult-to-treat pediatric epilepsy. Her research interests include epilepsy prevention, improving epilepsy surgery outcomes, and precision therapies for rare genetic epilepsies. Her research has shown that suppression of CREB, a transcription factor, can decrease the severity of epilepsy – a finding she hopes to turn into a therapeutic strategy for preventing epilepsy. Dr. Porter has a passion for training future physician scientists, serving on the executive committee of the Child Neurology Career Development Program-K12 and co-directing the Stanford R25 training program for neurology residents and fellows. In line with her interest in training future physician scientists, Dr. Porter served the AES on the Fellows/Jr. Investigators Professional Development Committee between 2017-2019 and as a grant reviewer between 2017-2018.