Martha Streng, PhD, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Minnesota Medical School, was recently awarded a research fellowship by the American Epilepsy Society (AES).

“I’m incredibly grateful to the American Epilepsy Society for funding these types of fellowships. Early career awards are invaluable to those who are postdoctoral fellows and not yet faculty members,” says Streng.

AES is one of the largest non-governmental funders for those starting their careers in epilepsy research. It also has a long-term commitment to developing talented researchers who will advance the understanding and treatment of epilepsy over the next generation.

In a recent press release, Page Pennell, MD, President of AES, said, “The scientific and medical communities recognize there is a shortage of researchers focused on epilepsy. AES is committed to supporting early career investigators, which in turn will produce new discoveries and treatments in the years to come. Supporting junior investigators is vital given that cutbacks in research funding, particularly by government agencies, have made it extremely difficult for new investigators to secure grants needed to launch a research career and subsequently compete for larger, longer-term support from the National Institutes of Health or other sources.”

Dr. Streng’s research focuses on potential therapies for temporal lobe epilepsy. Temporal lobe epilepsy is the most common form of epilepsy in adults. As many as one third of patients are left with uncontrolled seizures with current treatment options. With her postdoctoral mentor, Dr. Esther Krook-Magnuson in the Department of Neuroscience, Streng is researching an area of the brain called the cerebellum as a potential target for neuromodulation. 

“It’s exciting to be able to pursue research that could lead to new therapeutic interventions for temporal lobe epilepsy,” says Streng.