Voices: Daniel Lowenstein, M.D.

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Voices: Daniel Lowenstein, M.D.

Principle Investigator for the Epilepsy Phenome/Genome Project

- Professor and Vice Chairman in the Department of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)

- Director of the UCSF Epilepsy Center, and Director of Physician-Scientist and Education Training Programs for the UCSF School of Medicine


“We’ve moved...to this new era in which many scientific advances are coming from large, multidisciplinary teams of scientists.”


What gives me hope is the revolution we’re living through in terms of the world being connected through the Internet and new technologies that have led us into a whole new kind of science. This is an era in which large groups of scientists, personnel and patients can aggregate together and work as teams from literally around the globe.


 The Epilepsy Phenome/Genome Project and  Epi4K are perfect examples of the power of team science; we have more than 150 people involved in those two projects all around the world.


We’ve moved from an era where research was done primarily by individual scientists in small labs to this new era in which many scientific advances are coming from large, multidisciplinary teams of scientists who may be based in many locations throughout the world. That helps advance our knowledge of the nature of epilepsy, and with that will come more effective approaches to treatment. 


History has shown over and over that advancing our understanding of the biological basis of disease is critical to the discovery of effective treatments and cures. There’s no question in my mind that will be the same narrative for epilepsy—it’s just that it’s going to be a very long set of chapters.


I believe that in 50 years we’ll be able to look back and say something big happened at the turn of the century in regard to how we do science, and what we know about epilepsy.


The Epilepsy Phenome/Genome Project is a worldwide study of genetic links in epilepsy. Learn more at  epgp.org. The Epi4K project uses modern genetic technologies to screen patient genomes in hopes of developing a cure for epilepsy. Learn more at  epgp.org/epi4k/.

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