This week on Seizing Life® Dr. Patrice Jackson-Ayotunde, an organic chemist and Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), discusses her 20+ years of epilepsy drug research and her decade-long epilepsy fundraising efforts.
Dr. Jackson-Ayotunde runs a laboratory at UMES that engages in early drug discovery and development of anticonvulsant compounds as potential therapies for the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy. As Dr. Jackson-Ayotunde explains, in lay terms that means that she and her graduate students conduct research aimed at finding new, anti-seizure medications that are more effective and cause fewer side-effects than current medications. She provides a step-by-step, easy-to-understand explanation of the drug discovery and design process and provides insights about the precautions inherent to the process. Dr. Jackson-Ayotunde also explains why bringing new epilepsy drugs to market can take 15 to 20 years and how that lengthy process ensures safety for patients as well as sometimes helps in finding what she calls “the golden egg.” Additionally, Dr. Jackson-Ayotunde tells us about the UMES 5K Strides for Epilepsy fundraiser that she and her students have been running for the past 10 years.
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