February 28, 2019

UCI Researcher Awarded Nearly $4 Million to Study Neurological Disorders Including Epilepsy

University of California, Irvine School of Medicine researcher Geoff Abbott, PhD, has been awarded a $2 million Outstanding Investigator Award/Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) R35 grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, and a $1.7 million R01 grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

The MIRA grant is for a study titled, “Ion Channel Transporter Interactions,” and the R01 is for research titled, “GABA Activation of the M-current.” The 5-year grants support different studies, both focused on understanding the pathophysiology of ion channel-related disorders, including epilepsy, in search of viable therapies.

The MIRA award will support research in the Abbott Lab aimed at understanding the KCNQ and KCNE potassium channel gene families, their interactions with each other and with solute transporters. KCNQ family potassium channels are essential for the normal functioning of tissues including human heart, brain, thyroid, stomach, colon, pancreases, pituitary gland, auditory system and blood vessels, and are highly important for human health. The channels and transporters to be examined are linked to human diseases including cardiac arrhythmia, epilepsy and diabetes.

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