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Epilepsy Research UK researchers present at BNA’s 5th Festival of Neuroscience

This week, the British Neuroscience Association hosted its 5th Festival of Neuroscience in Brighton, welcoming neuroscientists and researchers from across the UK and beyond. Epilepsy Research UK is a proud Partner organisation of the BNA and hosted the conference’s only epilepsy-focused symposium, championing the work of early-career researchers across epilepsy.


What is the British Neuroscience Association (BNA)?

The BNA is the largest UK organisation connecting, representing and promoting neuroscience and neuroscientists within the UK and internationally. It has a diverse community of over 2,750 members, counting both early-career researchers and world-leading scientists within its ranks.


BNA2023 Festival of Neuroscience

Held every two years, the BNA Festival of Neuroscience brings together neuroscientists investigating every aspect of the brain, ranging from fundamental to clinical research. The conference featured several organisations focused on brain research, including Epilepsy Research UK, Alzheimer’s Research UK, Parkinson’s UK, and the UK Dementia Research Institute. As part of the programme, Epilepsy Research UK convened the ‘Innovations in Epilepsy Research’ symposium, which included the following presentations:


– Anna Norton from Epilepsy Research UK discussed the Top Ten Research Priorities established by the UK Epilepsy Priority Setting Partnership (PSP). The results from this landmark project have provided an evidence base which will shape research into epilepsy for the next generation. We are now actioning the results from the PSP through the national epilepsy research collaborative #Every1EndingEpilepsy, where the Top Ten priorities are helping us develop the research themes. and generate a roadmap to radically advance research into epilepsy.  You can read more about the UK Epilepsy PSP here.


– Dr Marie Pronot is an Epilepsy Research UK Endeavor Project Grant awardee based at the University of Edinburgh. Marie presented research led by Professor Michael Cousin which aims to identify a potential new therapeutic target for drug-resistant DNM1 epileptic encephalopathy. You can read and hear more about this work here.


– Dr Faye McLeod is an Epilepsy Research UK Emerging Leader Fellow based at Newcastle University. Faye co-chaired the session and shared details on her project modelling monogenic epilepsy in human brain slice cultures. This research aims to understand how mutations, such as STXBP1, cause early onset epilepsy using developing human brain tissue. You can read more about this work here.


– Dr Gareth Morris is an Epilepsy Research UK Emerging Leader Fellow based at University College London. Gareth presented a novel method of precision gene therapy involving microRNAs, which is the focus of his fellowship. This work could lead to a potential ‘one-off’ treatment for people with refractory epilepsy and may mean people with epilepsy no longer require life-long medications to control their seizures. You can read and hear more about this exciting research here.


To read more about the ‘Innovations in Epilepsy Research’ symposium and hear about upcoming research events, follow us on Twitter: @EpilepsyRUK and @ResearchNetERUK

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