November 1, 2021

CURE Epilepsy Kicks Off Epilepsy Awareness Month With Ringing the Closing Bell® at the New York Stock Exchange

Chicago, IL (November 1, 2021) – CURE Epilepsy today announced they are ringing the Closing Bell® at the New York Stock Exchange to kick off Epilepsy Awareness Month, which begins November 1. They also shared that they are investing $1.8 million dollars in 2021 to fund nine new research grants to accelerate finding a cure for epilepsy. Seven of the grantees will focus on foundational research that helps identify the underlying causes and potential treatments of epilepsy. Other grantees will advance potential treatments so that they are closer to being ready for clinical trials.

With the announcement of these awards, CURE Epilepsy will have raised over $78 million to fund over 270 grants since its founding 23 years ago by Susan Axelrod and a small group of parents who were frustrated by their inability to protect their children from seizures. CURE Epilepsy’s mission is to fund research to find a cure for epilepsy with the ultimate goal of creating a world without seizures.

“As we kick off Epilepsy Awareness Month, we are delighted to announce our 2021 research grantees on the same day that we ring the Closing Bell® at the New York Stock Exchange,” said Beth Dean, CEO of CURE Epilepsy. “People invest in the stock exchange to create the promise of a better future for themselves and their families. CURE Epilepsy invests in talented researchers and novel science to help find cures for epilepsy and foster the promise of a better future for those living with epilepsy. Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder behind migraine, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease, but it receives significantly less federal funding for research. CURE Epilepsy’s investment provides a funding source for scientists to explore novel ideas and drive groundbreaking science.”

This year’s group of talented grantees will be focusing their research on sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), sleep and epilepsy, acquired epilepsy, pediatrics, and basic mechanisms that provide the foundational understanding of what causes epilepsy.

“Congratulations to these incredible researchers,” said Kelly Cervantes, chair of CURE Epilepsy’s Board of Directors. “These grants are so important to those living with epilepsy and their families and caregivers. As a long-time CURE Epilepsy board member, and the mother of a child who was lost due to epilepsy, these researchers fill me with hope for a future where children and adults live without seizures or the side effects of medication,” she continued. “Over the past 20+ years, CURE Epilepsy’s unrelenting focus on accelerating science to find a cure is what will make the difference for the 3.4 million Americans and 65 million people worldwide living with epilepsy.”

2021 winners include:

Taking Flight awardees – a one-year award that promotes the careers of young investigators to allow them to develop a research focus independent of their mentors.

  • Joanna Mattis, MD, PhD – University of Pennsylvania
  • Ana Beatriz DePaula-Silva, PhD – The University of Utah
  • Rina Zelmann, PhD – Massachusetts General Hospital

CURE Epilepsy awardees – a two-year award for established researchers that focuses on scientific advances that have the potential to truly transform the lives of those affected by epilepsy.

  • David Auerbach, PhD – SUNY Upstate Medical University
  • Stefan Barakat, MD, PhD – Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  • Nigel Pedersen, MD – Emory University
  • Asla Pitkänen, MD, PhD – University of Eastern Finland

Catalyst awardees – a two-year award for research that supports nimble development of new transformative therapies for epilepsy, where a positive outcome could lead to a clinical trial.

  • Rodrigo Gutierrez-Quintana, MVZ, MVM, DipECVN, MRCVS – University of Glasgow
  • Ruth Westenbroek, PhD – University of Washington

To read more about all of our 2021 grantees, please visit

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About CURE Epilepsy

Our mission is to find a cure for epilepsy by promoting and funding patient-focused research. Since its inception over 20 years ago, CURE Epilepsy has raised over $78 million to fund innovative studies to advance its goal of no seizures and no side effects. To date, CURE Epilepsy has funded more than 270 cutting-edge research projects in 17 countries around the world. As the non-profit leader in epilepsy research, CURE Epilepsy is unwavering in its commitment to fund scientific study and accelerate research to reach our goal – a world without epilepsy. To learn more, please visit us at or contact us at You can also follow us on Facebook at @CUREforEpilepsy, and Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn at @CUREepilepsy.


Debby Hecht