University College London Doctor scoops top award | Action Medical Research

University College London Doctor scoops top award

12 August 2005
A young doctor from University College London has been awarded a prestigious grant from Action Medical Research to help develop her career in medical research. Talented Dr Tracey Graves has been given a Research Training Fellowship of £113,841 by the charity to study a genetic cause of epilepsy. Dr Graves, who works in the prestigious Institute of Neurology is intending to follow a career in academic neurology whilst continuing with vital clinical and laboratory work. Epilepsy affects around one in a hundred people, causing fits or seizures; for some the condition can dominate their lives affecting their education and employment prospects as well as limiting their sense of personal freedom. Some rare types of epilepsy run in families and seem to be inherited –Dr Graves is hoping that identifying the genetic abnormality that is responsible will help in pin-pointing potential sufferers and providing the correct treatment. Dr Graves said, “I am proud that Action Medical Research has chosen to highlight the importance of my work with this award.” “The charity is renowned within the medical profession for supporting only the very best in research – so I feel hugely honoured to be alongside some of the best known, cutting edge research teams.” “I am glad that Action Medical Research has recognised that this is a tremendously important area of research. For some people the attacks or even the fear of the attacks happening can be incredibly restrictive – dominating their lives.” “I shall be studying a faulty calcium channel gene in patients who have been diagnosed with epilepsy and a related inherited disorder called episodic ataxia that begins in childhood and causes attacks of dizziness, unsteadiness, clumsiness and slurred speech. “ “My work will be looking at the influence of the calcium channel gene on the risk of developing epilepsy so that we may be better able to understand what causes seizures.” “This award means that I can make some real steps forward in the short term in understanding what causes epilepsy and episodic ataxia to improve its diagnosis and treatment. “ “In the longer term I hope that my work will enable new drug treatments to be developed and patients to be identified – making a real difference to the lives of sufferers and their families.” Chief Executive of Action Medical Research, Simon Moore added, “At Action Medical Research we seek to fund the very best in research. Our Research Training Fellowships go to the brightest and most talented medical professionals early in their research careers. “These are the people who have a tremendous future in medicine and we hope they will be making ground-breaking advances that will have a positive impact on all our lives.”
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