American Epilepsy Society Honors Members for Outstanding Contributions


The American Epilepsy Society recognized several members from its clinical and research communities for their outstanding contributions to the field of epilepsy.

The 73rd annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society (AES), taking place December 6-10, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland, will host thousands of health care providers who gather to learn, share, and present the most recent research and clinical data regarding epilepsy care.

Each year, the AES recognizes the outstanding research and clinical work of its members who have dedicated their life to bettering epilepsy care.

Here are the 2019 AES award winners:

Distinguished Service Award — Micheal Privitera, MD

  • Privitera was honored for longstanding service to the AES community as a past president, board member, and committee chair. His focus on advanced treatments for epilepsy had led him to collaborate with the National Institute of Health and FDA, among others.

Rebecca Goldberg Kaufman Clinical Award in Ethical Neuropsychiatry — Aimee W. Smith, PhD

  • Smith is an expert on the psychosocial aspects of pediatric epilepsy, focused on quality of life, medication adherence, and transition and behavioral problems. She has published multiple book chapters and journal articles on pediatric chronic illness.

AES 2019 Founder’s Award — Amy R. Brooks-Kayal, MD, FAES, FANA, FAAN

  • BrooksKayal was previously president of AES and director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Advisory Council and CURE Scientific Advisory Board. Currently, she is codirector of the Child Neurology Career Development K12 program, as well as an active member of the American Academy of Neurology, American Neurological Association, and Child Neurology Society.

Research Recognition Award, Clinical Science — Angela Vincent, MSc, FMedSci, FRS

  • Vincent has been at the forefront of research on neuromuscular junction disorders, as well as acquired disorders of the central nervous system that are associated with ion channels and antibodies. Her research on antibodies has opened up new understanding of what causes neuronal pathologies.

Research Recognition Award, Basic Science — Helen E. Scharfman, PhD

  • The research facility maintained by Scharfman has uncovered mechanisms that regulate excitability and plasticity in the normal brain of rodents and in animal models of epilepsy.

Research Recognition Award, Clinical Science - Josep Dalmau, MD, PhD

  • Dalmau worked with colleagues to discover antiN-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDAR) encephalitis and 9 other disorders mediated by antibodies against ion channels and synaptic receptors, which represent a new category of diseases.

Fritz E. Dreifuss Lecture Award — Torbjörn Tomson, MD, PhD

  • Tomson is the chair of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) task force on women and pregnancy, and has made immense contributions to research on sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) and pregnancy outcomes in relation to maternal use of different antiseizure medications.

For more coverage of AES 2019, click here.

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