The Ambassador for Epilepsy Award recognizes outstanding international contributions to activities advancing the cause of epilepsy, either internationally or with international impact.
Dr Gretchen Birbeck spends time annually in sub Saharan
Africa providing epilepsy care services
and conducting research. She is founding
Director of Chikankata Epilepsy Care Team
in rural Mazabuka, Zambia and lectures at
University of Zambia. She developed training
materials for non-physician healthcare
workers which served as a model for the
WHO mhGAP programme in epilepsy care.
Prof Alla Guekht served for 12 years on the
Commission of European Affairs and was
Chair of the European Advisory Council.
She has been a Member of Committees
for European Congresses on Epileptology
and invited speaker at many International
and European Congresses on Epileptology.
She implemented the Migrating Course of
Epilepsy and is currently its Director.
Dr Dale Hesdorffer is a recognized international
expert in the epidemiology of epilepsy and
is co-chair of the ILAE Commission on
Epidemiology. The Commission's work has
focused on ameliorating the burden of epilepsy
through the work in four topical task
forces: mortality, comorbidity, definition
of status epilepticus, and reliability of the
ICD-11 epilepsy codes.
Prof Emeritus Sunao Kaneko is a graduate
of Hirosaki University School of Medicine,
Japan. He is President of Japan Epilepsy
Society and the Japanese Society of Clinical
Neuropsychopharmacology. He introduced
the measurement of blood AED drug concentrations
in clinical settings; elucidated the
teratogenecity of AEDs drugs during pregnancy
and proposed prevention measures.
Dr Byung-In Lee is a key opinion leader in epilepsy
in Asia; pioneer of clinical epileptology in
Korea and instrumental in the promotion
of Asian epilepsy communities. In 1986 he
applied SPECT, combining both interictal
and ictal studies to the protocol of pre-surgical
evaluation of refractory epilepsy, which
pioneered work for image based localisation
of epileptogenic region
Dr Li Li Min is Professor of Neurology at State
University of Campinas. His research areas
include epilepsy, stroke and neuroscience. He
coordinated a demonstration project of the
Global Campaign in Brazil and helped coordinate
courses on Health Science Journalism
and Ethics, and Values and Health for teachers.
He is involved in epilepsy stigma related
projects working closely with IBE.
Dr Daniel Lowenstein is an internationally recognized
expert on the management and
treatment of patients with status epilepticus
and was an early advocate of the concept of
an operational versus mechanistic definition
of status epilepticus, which has been adopted
widely since first proposed in an article
published in Epilepsia in 1999. He has been
a program organizer for the Colloquia on
Status Epilepticus in recent years.
Dr Gary Mathern's contribution has been to better
clinical care for children undergoing surgery
for medically refractory epilepsy. His group at
UCLA is at the forefront of research, performing
translational tissue on the tissue removed at
surgery in children. This led to breakthrough
discoveries on mechanisms of epileptogenesis,
and Dysmature Cerebral Developmental
hypothesis to explain how seizures develop in
areas of severe cortical dysplasia.
Mr Gay Mitchell, MEP, has been a supporter of IBE
for many years and a strong voice for
people with epilepsy in Europe during his
three terms as a Member of the European
Parliament. He hosted the launch of the 1st
European Epilepsy Day in 2011; created the
European Advocates for Epilepsy special interest
group of MEPs; and submitted the EU
Written Declaration on Epilepsy in 2011,
which was approved by 459 MEPs .
Dr Jorge Rodríguez Since 2006, Dr Rodriguez has been Senior
Advisor on Mental Health of PAHO/WHO
in Washington, DC. He coordinates technical
cooperation in the field of mental health,
neurological disorders and substance abuse in
Latin America and the Caribbean. As PAHO
Senior Advisor he coordinated the working
group (PAHO/ ILAE/IBE) which prepared
the Strategy on Epilepsy for the Americas
which was adopted by the PAHO Directing
Council in September 2011.
Dr Ingrid Scheffer is Chief Investigator of NHMRC
funded research grants totalling AU$17.5 million
over 4 years. This work laid foundations
for clinical research in the genetics of common
epilepsy syndromes, with emphasis on demonstrating
that careful clinical observation can
identify kindreds for linkage studies leading to
identification of genes and gene products as
causes of epilepsy. Her work with Dr Berkovic
has defined membrane ion channels as one of
the causes of genetic generalised epilepsies.
Prof Matthew Walker has organised international workshops
in epilepsy and neuroscience and was
involved in the production of the European
Consensus Statement on Status Epilepticus.
He contributed to the SIGN epilepsy guidelines;
co-produced the BBC website’s guide
on epilepsy and has written the British Medical
Association educational module on status
epilepticus. On the scientific advisory board
of Epilepsy Action, he is also Chair of the
Joint Epilepsy Council of UK and Ireland.