Vanderbilt Researcher Receives AAN’s Dreifuss-Penry for Epilepsy Research

TORONTOThe American Academy of Neurology (AAN) is awarding the 2010 Dreifuss-Penry Epilepsy Award to Martin J. Gallagher MD, PhD, with Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Gallagher will receive the award during the AAN’s 62nd Annual Meeting in Toronto, held April 10 through April 17, 2010. Named for two epileptologists who made outstanding contributions to the epilepsy field, the Dreifuss-Penry Award recognizes physicians in the early stages of their careers who have made an independent contribution to epilepsy research. There are several forms of epilepsy, some of which are caused in part by genetic factors. Gallagher’s research focuses on juvenile myoclonic epilepsy that begins in childhood or adolescence and involves mutations in single or multiple genes that can lead to excessively excitable nerve cells and seizures. “Understanding how the brain's major inhibitory system is compromised at a critical time in human development will help us tailor better therapies that augment these symptoms and thus better treat—or even prevent—the epilepsy syndrome,” said Gallagher. Gallagher will highlight his research at the AAN Awards Plenary Session during the AAN Annual Meeting on Thursday, April 15. The award is sponsored by the American Academy of Neurology and endowed by members of the AAN Epilepsy Section; Abbott Laboratories, Inc.; Cephalon, Inc.; Cyberonics, Inc.; Elan Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; GlaxoSmithKline; Novartis Pharmaceuticals; Ortho-McNeil Neurologics; Pfizer Inc; Shire US, Inc; and UCB Pharma. The 62nd Annual Meeting of the AAN is world’s largest gatherings of neurologists, taking place in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 22,000 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 stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit


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