Early Career Awardees

Congratulations to the 2022 Early Career Fellowship Awardees!

AES is proud to support 29 early career scientists in 2022 with $1.3 million in research grants and fellowships.

With support from philanthropic donations, the Sergievsky Fund for Epilepsy Health Equity and Diversity, the Lennox and Lombroso Fund for Research and Training, and the Susan S. Spencer Fund for Clinical Research and Education, AES supports trainees and newly independent investigators working across the full spectrum of epilepsy research, from basic science to translational and clinical research.

Sergievsky Award for Epilepsy Health Equity and Diversity

Senyene Hunter, MD, PhD
Long-Read Sequencing in a Diverse Cohort with Epileptic Encephalopathy
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Mentors: Erin Heinzen PharmD, PhD; Jonathan Berg MD, PhD; Suzette LaRoche MD, FACNS, FAAN; and Laura Villa Torres PhD, MSPH
Alain Zingraff Lekoubou Looti, MD
Brain health and post-stroke seizures prediction in a diverse US population
Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine
Mentor: Vernon Chinchilli, PhD

Junior Investigator Awards

Ana Arenivas, PhD, MPH
Neuropyschological Functioning in Pediatric Epilepsy Associated with MCDs
Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Jeffrey Calhoun, PhD
Resolving missense variants of uncertain significance in TSC2
Northwestern University, Chicago Campus
Philip Iffland, PhD
Functional validation of Nprl2 variants
University of Maryland, Baltimore

AES/EF Junior Investigator Award (funded in full by the Epilepsy Foundation)

Julie Janecek, PhD
Long-term cognitive outcome after temporal lobectomy: A longitudinal study
The Medical College of Wisconsin

Research and Training Fellowship for Clinicians

Samantha Allen, MD
Understanding Medically Refractory Epilepsy in Neurocysticercosis
University of California, San Francisco
Mentors: Robert Knowlton, MD, MSPH; Hector Garcia, MD, PhD; and Seth O’Neal, MD, MPH
Thomas Foutz, MD, PhD
Spatio-Temporal Dynamics of Neurostimulation in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
Washington University School of Medicine
Mentor: Michael Wong, MD, PhD
Julien Hebert, MDCM, MSc, FRCPC
Acute Symptomatic Seizures Secondary to Autoimmune Encephalitis
Columbia University
Mentors: Kiran Thakar, MD; and Hyumni Choi, MD
Jacob Pellinen, MD
Developing a Seizure Screening Tool for Non-Specialists
University of Colorado Denver
Mentor: Kelly Knupp, MD

Pediatric Epilepsy Research Foundation (PERF)/AES Research Training Fellowship for Clinicians (funded at 50% by PERF)

Hayley Loblein, PhD
Social Determinants of Health in Pediatric Epilepsy
Children’s National Medical Center
Mentor: Madison Berl, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Fellowships

Fatemeh Bahari, PhD
Dissecting role of pannexin1 channels in a model of acute neonatal seizures
Massachusetts General Hospital
Mentor: Kevin Staley, MD
Kathryn Brewer, PhD
Epilepsy in mTORopathies: The role of astrocytes
University of California, Berkeley
Mentor: Helen Bateup, PhD
Aniv Brukner, PhD
Rescue of STXBP1 encephalopathies with 4-phenylbutyrate in a mouse model
Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Mentor: Jacqueline Burre, PhD
Michelle Guignet, PhD
Novel Therapeutic Approaches for the Prevention of Drug Resistant Epilepsy
University of Washington
Mentor: H. Steve White, PhD
Joo Hyun Kim, PhD
Disease mechanism and therapy of STXBP1-encephalopathy
Baylor College of Medicine
Mentor: Mingshan Xue, PhD
Nishant Sinha, PhD
Guiding epilepsy surgery by combining non-invasive brain imaging and iEEG
University of Pennsylvania
Mentors: Kathryn Davis, MD, MS; and Brian Litt, MD
Danielle Tapp, PhD
Regulation of interneuron function by mTOR signaling
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Mentor: Steve Danzer, PhD
Solveig Vieluf, PhD
Developing a seizure likelihood biomarker from autonomic longitudinal data
Boston Children’s Hospital
Mentor: Tobias Loddenkemper, MD; Bo Zhang, PhD; and William Bosl, PhD

Predoctoral Research Fellowships

Daniel Chu, BA
Characterizing Connectome MRI Abnormalities in TLE Patients
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Mentor: Vivek Prabhakaran, MD, PhD
Yu (Susie) Feng, BS
Progression of Hippocampal Desynchronization in Chronically Epileptic Mice
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Mentor: Tristan Shuman, PhD
Andrew Huang, BS
Cellular Mediators of Dentate Pattern Separation in Epilepsy
University of California, Riverside
Mentor: Viji Santhakumar, PhD
Harvey Huang, BAS
Stimulation-induced responses in intracranial EEG reflect excitability
Mayo Clinic, Rochester
Mentors: Dora Hermes, PhD; and Greg Worrell, MD, PhD
Kelsey Paulhus, MS
Cortico-limbic contribution to cardiorespiratory dysfunction and SUDEP risk
Southern Methodist University
Mentor: Edward Glasscock, PhD
Samantha Reed, BS
The Effect of Status Epilepticus on Extracellular Vesicles
Emory University
Mentor: Andrew Escayg, PhD

AES and Wishes for Elliott/International SCN8A Alliance Predoctoral Research Fellowship (co-funded at 15% by WFE)

Christy LaFlamme, BS
Investigating aberrant methylation in DEE
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Mentor: Heather Mefford, MD, PhD

Epilepsy Study Consortium Mini-grants

Wesley Kerr, MD, PhD
Response-adaptive time-to-event designs in clinical trials for epilepsy
University of Michigan
Mentor: William Stacey, MD, PhD
Laura Kirkpatrick, MD
Lamotrigine and estrogen-containing contraception in people with epilepsy
University of Pittsburgh
Mentor: Page Pennell, MD

Susan S. Spencer, MD, Clinical Research Training Fellowship in Epilepsy

Regan Lemley, MD
The Role of the Microbiome in Drug Resistant Epilepsy
Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School
Mentor: Howard Weiner, MD

The following awards were given to the 29 early career scientists above:

  • Junior Investigator Awards: $50,000 for newly independent investigators to support direct costs of research plus one year of AES membership
  • Research Training Fellowship for Clinicians: Mentored support for clinical fellows or junior clinical faculty with up to $50,000 for stipend and travel support plus one year of AES membership
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellowships: Mentored research fellowships with up to $50,000 for stipend and travel support plus one year of AES membership
  • Predoctoral Research Fellowships: Mentored research fellowships with up to $30,000 for stipend and travel support plus one year of AES membership
  • Epilepsy Study Consortium Mini-grants: Funded by ESC and administered by AES; up to $22,000 for fellows to undertake a mentored project on anti-epileptic drug therapy during their fellowship training
  • Susan S. Spencer, MD, Clinical Research Training Fellowship in Epilepsy, 2022-2024: Funded by AES, Epilepsy Foundation, and American Brain Foundation in collaboration with the American Academy of Neurology
  • Sergievsky Award for Epilepsy Health Equity and Diversity: $150,000 over two years awarded to physicians and scientists who identify as members of groups historically underrepresented in science and medicine and/or who are researching issues that affect medically underserved individuals with epilepsy or seizures ore related aspects of health equity


The American Epilepsy Society would like to thank Gemma Carvill, PhD and William Stacey, MD, PhD, co-chairs of the AES Early Career Grants Committee, and the long list of volunteer reviewers for their continued efforts in supporting the next generation of epilepsy researchers.

AES would also like to thank our funding partners for joining us to support the future of epilepsy research:

  • The Epilepsy Foundation for one award in full
  • The Pediatric Epilepsy Research Foundation for co-funding of one award
  • Epilepsy Study Consortium for full funding of two ESC mini-grants
  • Wishes for Elliott/International SCN8A Alliance for co-funding of one award
  • The American Brain Foundation, Epilepsy Foundation, and American Academy of Neurology for their decade-long partnership with the American Epilepsy Society for support of the Susan Spencer Clinical Research Training Scholarship