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10 Downing Street hosts reception celebrating Epilepsy Research Institute launch

The Epilepsy Research Institute was officially launched on Wednesday 25 October at a Downing Street reception hosted by Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, George Freeman MP. The Institute is the world’s first national research institute dedicated to epilepsy. The event brought together research leaders, industry representatives, founding partners, research programme theme leads and people affected by epilepsy. Speakers at the event included Baroness Julia Cumberlege, Minister for Tech and Digital Economy, Paul Scully MP, and Epilepsy Research Institute Chair, Professor Matthew Walker.

The Epilepsy Research Institute will serve as the central hub for the epilepsy research community. The Institute’s mission is to radically advance research into the causes, prevention and treatment of epilepsy and its associated conditions. The comprehensive research strategy developed by the national research collaborative #Every1EndingEpilepsy will provide the foundation for this. The Institute aims to strengthen the epilepsy research ecosystem by driving strategic investment and developing partnerships and collaborations between academia, the NHS, industry, funders and patient groups. Central to this will be a culture of advocating and actioning the research priorities of people affected by epilepsy.

The Epilepsy Research Institute’s Founding Partners include Young Epilepsy, Epilepsy Action, Epilepsy Scotland, and the International League Against Epilepsy British Branch. By working together, the Institute will operationalise the Top Ten priorities of the UK Epilepsy Priority Setting Partnership.

Minister George Freeman said, “I fully support the formation of the Epilepsy Research Institute. It is clear that progress will not be achieved by some extraordinary discovery one afternoon in a laboratory but by incremental aggregation of different disciplines and multidisciplinary working partnerships. We need a combination of deep biological science, neural pathway mapping, AI and technologies that require our top laboratories and research institutes around the world working together.”

Professor Matthew Walker, Chair of Trustees, “As a community, we all know the critical role research plays in improving the lives of those with epilepsy. Every study marks a step forward, and every collaboration strengthens our efforts against this devastating condition. The launch of the Epilepsy Research Institute is a watershed for our disease area.”

Maxine Smeaton, Chief Executive, said, “We know that research will only flourish with sufficient investment and the right infrastructure. The Epilepsy Research Institute will provide the research community with the leadership, resources and support needed to radically advance research into epilepsy.”

Epilepsy Research Institute – key messages

Vision: A life free from epilepsy

Mission: To radically advance research into epilepsy


  1. Convene, connect and capacity-build the epilepsy research ecosystem
  2. Drive strategic investment in epilepsy research
  3. Fund research into epilepsy and associated conditions
  4. Develop research partnerships and collaborations
  5. Advocate and action the research priorities of people affected by epilepsy

Read more about the Epilepsy Research Institute in this Q&A with Chief Executive Maxine Smeaton.

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