Who is the Human Epilepsy Project (HEP) Study Team? Who is in HEP?

Together, the Human Epilepsy Project study team has been developing the HEP study for more than 7 years! Many of the folks on HEP have worked together for decades - it's a research family. There are more than 300 people working together at 27 hospitals worldwide on HEP.

HEP Study Doctors

Jacqueline French, MD

Jacqueline French, MD

Ruben Kuzniecky, MD

Ruben Kuzniecky, MD

Daniel Lowenstein, MD

Daniel Lowenstein, MD

HEP's main study doctors are Jacqueline French, MDRuben Kuzniecky, MD, at the New York University School of Medicine and Daniel Lowenstein, MD, at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. Among them, they have cared for thousands of epilepsy patients around the world.

HEP Clinical Centers

The HEP Clinical Centers were chosen because they are among the best hospitals in the world for epilepsy care, with expert doctors and high-tech imaging and biomarkers equipment, such as EEG and MRI. HEP has 24 clinical centers in the United States and 3 more in Australia and the UK. Find out more about each clinical center or contact Cate Freyer, a research trials manager for HEP at UCSF, will match you with a clinical center.

HEP Central Administrative Team

HEP is managed by Sabrina Cristofaro, an epilepsy nurse at NYU, Catharine Freyer, a research trials manager at UCSF, Rachel Hennessy, an Analyst and Trial Manager at NYU, Kevin McKenna, a director of computer systems for clinical research in epilepsy at UCSF, Vickie Mays, a computer analyst at UCSF, and Cheryl Burke, a data monitor at the Epilepsy Study Consortium.

HEP Scientific Investigation Teams

HEP is organized into scientific teams to study many areas for HEP. Each scientific team is responsible for answering a subset of HEP's questions. We hope that when they are added together, these answers turn into improved treatments for patients with epilepsy.

  • The HEP Neuroimaging (MRI) Team looks at digital scans of the brain made with computers and big magnets. These scans are called MRIs and look at brain tissue structures.
  • The HEP Neurophysiology (EEG) Team looks at the electrical signatures of the brain, captured by an electroencephalography (EEG) machine. Different brain activities make different EEG patterns.
  • The HEP Cognitive Team studies HEP participants' thinking and memory to understand whether patients' thinking and memory changes with epilepsy.
  • The HEP Neuropharmacology Team looks at the medications used to treat participants in HEP, the doses of drugs they receive, and how their bodies respond to those medications.
  • The HEP Biomarkers Team looks at the various biomarkers gathered in the HEP study, particularly DNA, RNA, and proteins.
  • The HEP Comorbidity Team studies whether some participants with epilepsy develop depression or anxiety, and what can predict and cure these developments.
  • The HEP Seizure Diary Team studies the items recorded in the seizure diaries kept by each HEP participant, to understand what patterns of seizures participants are having, and if they are having side effects from their medications.

The HEP Biomarkers Team

Manu Hegde, M.D., Ph.D.

Manu Hegde, M.D., Ph.D.

The HEP Biomarkers Team is comprised of several doctors: Manu Hegde, M.D., Ph.D., Tracy Glauser, M.D., Daniel Lowenstein, M.D., Terence O’Brien, M.D, John Pollard, M.D., and Tricia Ting, M.D..
 
Together, this team of doctors looks at the biomarkers in the new-onset epilepsy patients in HEP.  
 
The leader of the Biomarkers Team is Dr. Hegde. He is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco, and studies biomarkers of epilepsy, ways to improve finding the source of a person’s seizure (called seizure localization), and other topics.  

 

The HEP MRI Team

The HEP Neuroimaging Team is composed of two doctors at NYU Medical Center: Ruben Kuzniecky M.D. and Heath Pardoe. Together, they are looking at each patient’s brain MRI to look for differences that can explain a person’s epilepsy or why a particular medication works. Dr. Kuzniecky is one of the best MRI doctors in the United States, and has trained dozens of epilepsy doctors, and cared for hundreds of patients. Heath Pardoe is a neuroscientist who develops techniques for using MRI scanning to improve epilepsy treatment.

The HEP EEG Team

Dennis Dlugos, M.D.

Dennis Dlugos, M.D.

The HEP Neurophysiology (EEG) Team is comprised of many specialists from around the world: Dennis Dlugos, M.D., Jules Beal, M.D., Gregory Bergey, M.D., Alexis Boro, M.D., Eric Geller, M.D., Davy Gloss, M.D., Jonathan Halford, M.D., Manu Hegde, M.D., Ph.D., Susan Herman, M.D., Rani Singh, M.D., Michael Sperling, M.D., and Greg Worrell, M.D. The EEG Team looks at each patient’s EEG to verify the person’s epilepsy and to look for patterns among patients.  

Dr. Dlugos is the chair of the EEG Team. He is a Professor of Neurology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and studies epilepsy in children and EEGs, and directs a neurology training course at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

The HEP Cognitive Team

Kimford Meador, M.D.

Kimford Meador, M.D.

The HEP Cognitive Team is comprised of several doctors: Kimford Meador, M.D., David Darby, Ph.D., Chris Morrison, Ph.D., Terence O’Brien, M.D., and Pat Penovich, M.D.

Together, this team of doctors looks at the results of the cognitive testing that HEP participants do every 6 months.

The leader of the Cognitive Team is Dr. Meador. He is a Professor of Neurology and Neurosciences at Stanford University, and has authored more than 350 medical papers about memory, attention, consciousness, perception, and how epilepsy and medications affect patients’ thinking.