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IBE/ILAE Awards: 1999 Michael Prize Winners

This prize was created to stimulate epilepsy research among young scientists (under 40 years of age) in Germany. It is now an international award for the best scientific and clinical research promoting the further development in epileptology. The prize is awarded biannually and consists of DM 20.000 and is presented during the International Epilepsy Congress following the election.

Heinz Beck, Germany: His scientific interest focuses on the function and regulation of voltage dependent calclum channels in human temporal lobe epilepsy. The data obtained in humans are compared with those from epilepsy models in animals. Electro-physiological and molecular studies are combined in an effort to further understand the mechanisms leading to the initiation of seizures in temporal lobe epilepsies.

Marco de Curtis, Italy: The centre of his scientific interest is the cellular mechanisms underlying interictal spikes including the role played by gap junctions and their modulations by activity dependent pH-changes, propagation of epileptiform activity, induction of secondary epileptogenesis, and, last but not least, interactions of neuronal activity and cerebro-vascular activity.

Istvan Mody, USA: His scientific efforts are primarily devoted to the role synaptic inhibition in epileptogenesis. Using a combined anatomical and electro-physiological approach, it was demonstrated, for the first time, that the number of synaptic GABA-A receptors is significantly increased in an experimental model of temporal lobe epilepsy. This finding favours a much more complex scenario of epileptogenesis than previously thought from animal studies with blockers of inhibition. There are already some strong hints about how neuronal synchrony can be generated by more GABA-A receptors at synapses.

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