The importance of the initial ERUK funding cannot be over emphasised. As Dr Lignani says, “This MRC New Investigator Research Grant was only possible due to my ERUK Fellowship Award. Support from Epilepsy Research UK has enabled me not only to apply for this grant, but to collaborate with a team in Italy to learn about key advanced molecular genetic techniques that can be implemented in our lab at the Institute of Neurology. This further research grant is recognition of the high standard of ERUK-funded research.”
He continued, “This research will be useful not only to understand if a permanent general treatment for Dravet syndrome is achievable, but will also give insight into the potential of the techniques to cure other neurological conditions caused by similar mutations in different genes.”
Dr Lignani’s ERUK Fellowship officially began in 2018 but is already showing promising results. His team’s work thus far has focused on developing and testing their gene therapy tools, and they have found that this tool is able to subdue neurons during epileptic activity. The following stages of the fellowship will involve trialing these tools in models of acquired intractable epilepsy.
A massive WELL DONE to Dr Lignani from us all at ERUK!