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Ambassador Awards 2013

The Ambassador for Epilepsy Award recognizes outstanding international contributions to activities advancing the cause of epilepsy, either internationally or with international impact.

Gretchen BirbeckDr 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.

Alla GeukhtProf 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.

Dale HesdorfferDr 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.

Gretchen BirbeckProf 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.

Gretchen BirbeckDr 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

Gretchen BirbeckDr 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.

Daniel LowensteinDr 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.

Gary MathernDr 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.

Gay MitchellMr 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 .

Jorge RodriguezDr 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.

Ingrid SchefferDr 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.

Matthew WalkerProf 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.

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