The Neurobiology of Epilepsy
September 19-20, 2004  Rhodes University
Grahamstown, South Africa

Background: Epilepsy is the second most common disorder of the CNS, affecting about 1% of the human population. Recent advances in epilepsy have revealed over 60 genes linked to epilepsy belonging to major cell signaling pathways, including those for early cellular migration, ion channels, receptors, transporters, vesicle release, and other intra- and intercellular signaling. A broad range of neuroscientists are involved in identifying the intervening disturbances in cellular anatomy and excitability that favor seizures, as well as searching for mechanisms for neuroprotection.

About the Workshop: The two day workshop will be divided into morning and afternoon sessions. Each morning, speakers will introduce basic scientists to the clinical disorder, and use videotaped patient presentations to introduce specific major seizure types. The neurobiology of that type will then be discussed by a leading expert, with a focus on current understanding of the molecular, cellular, and genetic mechanisms relevant to the generation and treatment of that excitability defect. This didactic lecture will be followed by a 10 minute discussion period led by the chair. After lunch, students will regroup into smaller focused workshops of about 15 students each. Each day, students will be able to participate in two discussion groups of their choosing, each lasting one and one half hours each. A final general discussion section will be held to summarize the day and provide additional information to interested students. Major areas of focus for the entire workshop will be on basic mechanisms of development, epileptogenesis, ion channel disorders, synaptic inhibition, and neuroprotection. This workshop will be taught in English.

Who Should Attend: Neurobiology of Epilepsy workshop will be useful to a range of experts and non-experts, so clinicians, graduate level students considering further study in neuroscience, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty are encouraged to apply. Applications from all regions of Africa are encouraged, as are local applications. Travel support is available. Note that the Neurobiology of Epilepsy Workshop is being held in conjunction with the IBRO “Neurodegeneration and Regeneration” course September 10-18, 2004. Participants in the Neurodegeneration course are encouraged to apply for attendance to this workshop, as are others who are not participating in the September 10-18th course.

Instructors: Jeffrey Noebels, M.D., Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine (workshop director); Dan Lowenstein, M.D., University of California San Francisco; Peter B. Crino, M.D., Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania;John Huguenard, Ph.D., Stanford Medical School; Frances Jensen, M.D., Harvard Medical School

Local Organizers: Santy Daya, Ph.D. Rhodes University

To download a copy of the above information, click HERE.

How to Apply: Please see application information below. Deadline for applications is June 15, 2004.

For more information please contact:

Ms. Charyl Delaney
Dr. Marilee Shelton-Davenport

This workshop is organized by the IAC-USNC/IBRO committee (, the U.S./Canada regional committee of IBRO) as a joint effort of the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO), the Society for Neuroscience, the U.S. National Academies, and the American Epilepsy Society. Financial support is also provided by the NIH National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and National Institute on Drug Abuse.

See below, or click HERE for a Microsoft Word file of the application

These are the application instructions for both the:
Neurobiology of Epilepsy Workshop (September 19-20, 2004) and the
IBRO Neurodegeneration and Regeneration Course (September 10-18, 2004) in Grahamstown, South Africa

Where to send documents: Applications and supporting documents should be sent to the SONA secretariat. If possible, please submit all materials electronically to SONA Secretariat at . Hard copies of signed recommendation letters should also be sent to SONA by regular mail or courier to SONA Secretariat, Dept Medical Physiology, Chiromo Campus, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 30197, Nairobi, KENYA (Voice: +254-2-442309). Hard copies of other application materials may also be sent to this address if email is not available (no fax).

Deadline: June 15, 2004. Applications received after June 15, 2004 will be considered as space allows.

Application to more than one activity: Applicants to the IBRO Neurodegeneration and Regeneration course are encouraged to apply for the Neurobiology of Epilepsy Workshop. You may apply to both with the same application, but you must indicate each activity that you are applying for and how each will benefit you.

Who should apply: The IBRO Neurodegeneration and Regeneration Course is not designed or suitable for senior established faculty members. However, established faculty members are encouraged to apply for participation in the Neurobiology of Epilepsy Workshop.

Documents to provide: Please provide the information listed in the application form below and two letters of support (item 22 below). (Incomplete forms will be returned without further evaluation):

1) Surname
2) First Name
3) Birth Date & Country
4) Age
5) Nationality. Please describe English language capabilities if you are not living in an Anglophone country.
6) Education
7) Affiliation (Research/ Academic/ Others)
8) Current Work Title/ Position
9) Current Home Address
10) Current Work Address
11) Email:
12) Fax:
13) Telephone number:
14) Name and date of activity or activities you are applying for (i.e., Neurobiology of Epilepsy Workshop: September 19-20, 2004; IBRO Neurodegeneration and Regeneration course: September 10-18, 2004). Please indicate if you are applying to both activities.
15) Please estimate cost for travel to Grahamstown, South Africa. State if you are supported by other grants/ sponsorship for this travel (note that financial assistance for travel is available).
16) State if you have previously attended an IBRO school or awarded an IBRO or IBRO/SfN/ARC Travel Grant. If so, state when.
17) Publications (5 most important)
18) Conferences/ Workshops/ Courses attended within past 3 years. State if grant was provided for the above, and if so, from which organization
19) One-page description of your past and current research and teaching activities where applicable; description of background in biology, neuroscience, and/or epilepsy (note that a background in epilepsy is not required for participation in the epilepsy workshop. Background descriptions will be used by course instructors as they develop their lectures); and future plans (including indication of plans to return to your home country if currently living elsewhere)
20) Describe why participation in this activity will benefit you (Please answer for each activity if you are applying for the both the Neurobiology of Epilepsy Workshop and IBRO Neurodegeneration and Regeneration course).
21) Please enclose two letters of recommendation with this application from head of your department/institution, supervisor or other scientists who can comment on your scientific qualifications, abilities, and commitment. At least one letter should describe your abilities and document your current research and education status. Please note names of letter writers and their phone numbers or email addresses here. If applicable, you may also note the names of other current or past supervisors.

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