Taking Flight Award

Determining The Role Of GABA Activity In Interneuron Development: Toward Developing A Cell Therapy For Epilepsy

Joy Sebe, PhD
University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Sebe has been working with a research team at the University of California, San Francisco to develop a cell therapy for epilepsy. Previously, they have demonstrated that inhibitory neural progenitor cells transplanted into newborn epileptic mice dramatically suppress seizures as the animals mature. To increase the speed at which these progenitor cells incorporate into the epileptic brain and to potentially boost their therapeutic efficacy, Dr. Sebe is looking for molecular cues and drugs that promote cell development. To test a large number of compounds in an intact developing animal, she is turning to transgenic zebrafish in which the inhibitory neural progenitor cells fluoresce and can be easily tracked. The Taking Flight Award will allow Dr. Sebe to begin what will become an independent research program in which she will examine the cues that guide neuron development and optimize new therapies for epilepsy.


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