Genetic imaging in Dravet Syndrome – variation on a theme?

Networks in the brain. While I am waiting to hear back about my ERC starting grant application on genetic imaging, I wanted to use the waiting time to introduce a small pioneer study that we performed on functional imaging in Dravet Syndrome. Dravet Syndrome, one of the most prominent genetic epileptic encephalopathies, is due to mutations in SCN1A. The EEG findings progress from an initially unremarkable EEG to frequent generalized activity. Functional MRI offers a possibility to investigate the network underlying these discharges and to pinpoint brain regions involved in generating the epileptiform activity. Given that patients have a common genetic finding, the assumption that discharges are generated by identical networks is intriguing. However, we found that things might not be as simple as that. Continue reading

Live at Covent Garden – the ERC Starting Grant Interviews

On stage. I just got back from Brussels where I had to defend my ERC Starting Grant in front of the Neuroscience Panel. The European Research Counsil (ERC) Starting Grants are prestigious excellence grants and I was lucky enough to be invited for the famous second round. This second round requires the applicants to go to Brussels in order to give a 10-15 min presentation and defend the application on the 24th floor of the Covent Garden building. It provides a wonderful view of the city, but nobody really bothered taking this in. Let’s use the opportunity to quickly discuss grants, funding and the future of epilepsy genetics. Continue reading