CURE - Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy It's Time We Found a CURE CURE Epilepsy Research

Program Goal: To support collaborative, milestone-driven efforts that advance the understanding of epilepsy as a result of traumatic brain injury.

CURE’s mission is to cure epilepsy, transforming and saving millions of lives. We identify and fund cutting-edge research, challenging scientists worldwide to collaborate and innovate in pursuit of this goal. Our commitment is unrelenting.

For this initiative, CURE seeks to fund investigators focused on advancing the understanding of epilepsy as a result of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in order to build a body of knowledge that primes the community for more effective target identification and prevention strategies. The mechanisms underlying the development of epilepsy following injury are complex and not fully understood. Additionally, post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE) frequently does not respond to available treatments, imposing significant ill effects on quality of life and rehabilitation. Despite the risk to both civilian and non-civilian populations, prior attempts to intervene and prevent epilepsy after injury have yet to succeed. While many efforts have been made to study TBI, there is a paucity of research directed towards the chronic, life-long, often debilitating epilepsy that often follows. The goal of the initiative is to establish a multi-center, multi-investigator research team focused on post-traumatic epilepsy that will rapidly translate patient-relevant findings at the molecular, cellular and systems level into novel therapies to prevent the development of epilepsy from traumatic brain injury. Both basic scientists and clinicians are encouraged to apply.

2016 FUNDING CYCLE
Release date: June 2016
Webinar/conference call*: June 9, 2016 at 12pm ET
June 22, 2016 at 4pm ET
Letter of Intent deadline: Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 8:00pm, ET
Full applications invited: Friday, August 12, 2016
Full application deadline: Thursday, November 3, 2016 at 8:00pm, ET
Anticipated funding: April 2017

* CURE will hold two 1-hour teleconferences to clarify the goals of this RFA and answer questions. Interested investigators are requested to RSVP by email to Liz@CUREepilepsy.org. Please specify which date you plan to participate.

Download the full RFA


BACKGROUND
This new, targeted program was created in collaboration with the Department of Defense, Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Research Program, under award number W81XWH-15-2-0069. The program will support a team approach to advancing a greater understanding of the factors that may lead to Post-Traumatic Epilepsy (PTE).

PURPOSE
CURE issues this directed Request for Applications (RFA) to accelerate the understanding of epilepsy as a result of traumatic brain injury. This program will fund milestone-driven proposals for up to 3 years.

There are two primary areas of research addressed in this RFA:

  • Clinical phenotyping of patients who have developed epilepsy as a result of a brain injury.
  • Thorough characterization of animal models used to study epilepsy as a result of brain injury, including repetitive TBI, and their potential utility for early identification of novel therapies for the prevention and treatment of TBI-induced epilepsy and attendant comorbidities.

Clinical phenotyping applications:
There is a significant lack of knowledge surrounding what types of brain injury lead to epilepsy. Deep phenotyping of patients with epilepsy as a result of brain injury is sought with this RFA. For such an application, please clearly describe the outcome measures that will be assessed (imaging, genetics, EEG, etc) to define the patient population. Retrospective or prospective cohorts can be included. While an established collaboration with an ongoing large human TBI study would be seen as a benefit, this is not a requirement for application.

Animal model applications:
It has been noted that there is similarly a lack of thorough knowledge surrounding animal models used to study epilepsy as a result of TBI. Applications are sought to work as members of a team in which multiple models will be evaluated in a prospective and parallel approach. In the application, please describe the model proposed, what type of injury it seeks to represent (severity, human relevance, single vs repetitive hit, etc.), and the outcomes that would be measured to conduct a thorough assessment of the model as it relates to human TBI and therapy discovery. Access to chronic video/EEG monitoring is required. A plan to assess and document the time between injury and first seizure must be described. Models studying the impact of a single hit or that which might occur as a result of repetitive injury are encouraged. If the application is centered on repeated trauma, describe how these injuries will be assessed, characterized, and documented. Note: Any model proposed must exhibit spontaneous seizures, either behavioral or subclinical. Models that evaluate epilepsy solely by modification of threshold to induced seizures are not considered applicable and will not be considered.

Outcome measures for both clinical and animal model applications should be designed to be used for both initial descriptive studies and biomarker discovery efforts to aid in the potential identification of which patients/animals are at highest risk for developing epilepsy following injury. Additionally, it is anticipated that any proposed investigation will provide important new information that can be used to guide therapy development for the person at risk for developing PTE as a result of TBI.

FUNDS AVAILABLE
CURE will commit up to $8.4 million over the next 3-4 years to fund proposals submitted for this initiative. CURE intends to fund multiple proposals as a part of this initiative. The number of awards will depend on the quality and the relevance of the proposed work to the RFA. Applicants may request project periods of up to 3 years for direct costs appropriate and justifiable for the work proposed. Each item and its cost must be clearly described in the budget. A maximum of $1,000 ($1,500 for international applicants) per year can be budgeted for travel to scientific meetings. CURE encourages all awardees to attend the annual American Epilepsy Society meeting. Multi-year support is not automatic for any award and is contingent upon meeting milestones and progress reports being favorably reviewed. Per CURE’s policy, indirect costs will not be supported.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
Applicants must be at or above the Assistant Professor level (or equivalent) and must be willing to work in a milestone-driven ‘team’ environment. Applications are welcomed and encouraged from collaborative teams comprised of multiple investigators. International applicants are welcome. Post-doctoral fellows are not eligible to apply as principal investigators. Researchers who serve on CURE’s advisory councils are ineligible to apply for, or sponsor, a grant for the duration of their term. All materials must be submitted in English.

 

CURE For questions, please contact Liz Higgins at the CURE office, 312.255.1801, or email liz@CUREepilepsy.org.

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