Harvard Medical Researcher Awarded $130,000 Epilepsy Research Grant

Funded by American Brain Foundation, American Epilepsy Society and the Epilepsy Foundation

NEW ORLEANS – A researcher from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School is receiving $130,000 to conduct further research on memory dysfunction in epilepsy patients through the Susan S. Spencer Clinical Research Training Fellowship. The research grant is funded by the American Brain Foundation (formerly the American Academy of Neurology Foundation), the American Epilepsy Society and the Epilepsy Foundation. Anli Liu, MD, MA, a clinical and research fellow in epilepsy and cognitive neurology, was awarded the fellowship for work investigating memory dysfunction and depression in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy. Her ultimate goal is to better understand the relationship between memory, mood and seizures. Alvaro Pascual-Leone, MD, PhD, and Steven Schachter, MD, FAAN, serve as her research mentors on the project. The two-year award will consist of an annual salary of $55,000, plus $10,000 per year in educational expenses. The award recognizes the importance of epilepsy clinical research with the goal of providing better treatment, prevention or cure of the disease. The fellowship will be presented today in New Orleans during the American Academy of Neurology’s 64th Annual Meeting, the world’s largest meeting of neurologists. Clinical research is the fundamental transition stage between discovery and treatment. Clinical research provides the scientific basis for all forms of care, addresses patient and caregiver needs and is the backbone for drug development and cost-effectiveness studies needed to improve lives. Fellowships provide recipients with up to three years of “protected time” with salary, which allows them to continue important research projects in their chosen interests. Epilepsy is a common neurologic disorder that produces seizures affecting a variety of mental and physical functions. Seizures are episodes of disturbed brain function that cause changes in attention or behavior. When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures, he or she is considered to have epilepsy. Epilepsy is a family of more than 40 syndromes that affects more than three million people in the United States and 50 million worldwide. The award is named in honor of Susan S. Spencer, MD, a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology who was a leading epilepsy researcher.

The American Brain Foundation, the foundation of the American Academy of Neurology, supports vital research and education to discover causes, improved treatments, and cures for brain and other nervous system diseases. Learn more at or find us on Facebook. The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 26,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, concussion, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.


Press Release Search

For More Information

Email Renee Tessman


Email Michelle Uher