Challenge Awards, Funded by the Rhode Island Award

Gene Profiling and High-Throughput Drug Screening in a Zebrafish Model of Dravet Syndrome

Scott Baraban, PhD
University of California, San Francisco

Pediatric epilepsies are associated with developmental or cognitive co-morbidities and are not well controlled by available drugs. Unfortunately, existing drug discovery programs are not designed to address this problem, as they are primarily based on acute or acquired seizures in adult rodent models of the epilepsies. Dr. Baraban seeks to shift current research in the epilepsy field in two ways. First, by utilizing immature zebrafish models designed to mimic known single-gene mutations seen in children (for example, Dravet syndrome), he will establish a drug discovery program targeted at pediatric epilepsy that also incorporates large-scale microarray gene analysis. Second, by focusing on the zebrafish model, he will establish a new template for high-throughput cost-effective drug screening with distinct advantages over current rodent-based approaches.


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