EPILEPSY RESEARCH IN THE EU STATE OF THE ART AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE FUTURE Palazzo della Racchetta Via Vaspergolo ‐ Ferrara October 27 - 29, 2015


PDF of final program





Palazzo della Racchetta

Via Vaspergolo 4-6 - Ferrara

October 27-29, 2015


Host Institution and Organizer

EPIXCHANGE project and University of Ferrara, prof. M. Simonato


FIE – Federazione Italiana Epilessie, F. Sofia- Chief Scientific Officer


Aim of the meeting

The event will gather together all EU-funded and currently ongoing research projects specifically focused on epilepsy. Several laboratories and research institutions in Europe are supported from the EU for research on the mechanisms of epileptogenesis and on the development of new therapies.  Currently, six projects are receiving funds from the EU and they account for a total EU investment of about 70 million euros. Coordinators and partners of each project will be invited to present their results and future aims and so will provide a vision of EU epilepsy research highlighting the areas of promising developments.

On the occasion, major international funding agencies both public and private will be invited to present their portfolios of research-funding initiatives.

The event is meant to build a framework for epilepsy research in Europe and to identify opportunities for the future.



Palazzo della Racchetta, Ferrara

Organizing Committee

Michele Simonato, University of Ferrara

Francesca Sofia, FIE

Scientific Advisory Committee

Michele Simonato, University of Ferrara, Italy

Francesca Sofia, FIE, Italy

Merab Kokaia, University of Lund, Sweden

Lars Wahlberg, NsGene A/S, Denmark

Hervé Bethommé, Bioviron sarl, France

Local Organizers and Meeting Secretariat

Michela Nanni, University of Ferrara, Italy

Tarcisio Levorato, FIE, Italy

Simona Borroni, FIE, Italy


Registration is free of charge.

It is however required to register:

Via Web www.mcrferrara.org

Via Email info@mcrferrara.org

Via Fax +39-0532-213560



Tuesday, October 27


18.00-20.00        Tavola rotonda

La ricerca incontra le associazioni delle persone con epilessia


Michele Simonato (Università di Ferrara e Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele di Milano; Coordinatore Epixchange)

Emilio Perucca (Università di Pavia, Presidente ILAE – International League against Epilepsy)

Annamaria Vezzani (Istituto Mario Negri, Milano)

Fabio Benfenati (Center for Synaptic Neuroscience, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia e Università di Genova)

Oriano Mecarelli (Università la Sapienza e Policlinico Umberto I, Roma; Segretario LICE – Lega Italiana contro l’Epilssia)

Rosa Cervellione (Presidente FIE – Federazione Italiana Epilessie)

Francesca Sofia (Direttore Scientifico FIE – Federazione Italiana Epilessie)


Danilo Di Diodoro (Unità Operativa Informazione Scientifica Applicata, USL BO)


20.00                       Welcome cocktail


Wednesday, October 28


Session I


08.30-09.30       Welcome address: Michele Simonato (Epixchange) and Rosa Cervellione (FIE)

Greetings: Italian National Government, Regional Government, City of Ferrara, Ferrara University


09.30-10.00        Introduction to EPIXCHANGE

Michele Simonato (coordinator)

10.00-10.45        Presentations by EPIXCHANGE Marie-Curie Fellows

Differential effect of neuropeptides on excitatory synaptic transmission in human epileptic hippocampus. My Andersson (Lund University)

Encapsulated cells, GDNF and spontaneous recurrent seizures. Avtandil Nanobashvili (NsGene)

Long-term delivery of GDNF by encapsulated cells for the treatment of epilepsy. Giovanna Paolone (University of Ferrara and NsGene)


10.45-11.15        Coffee Break


11.15-11.45        Presentations by EPIXCHANGE Marie-Curie Fellows

BDNF delivery strategies in an experimental model of temporal lobe epilepsy. Chiara Falcicchia, (University of Ferrara, Bioviron and NsGene)

Silencing BDNF in the hippocampus of epileptic animals with amplicon vectors. Pascal Trempat (Bioviron, University of Ferrara and Lund University)


Session II

Epilepsy, science, policies and politics


11.45-12.30        Promoting epilepsy care and research: the vision of ILAE and IBE

Emilio Perucca (ILAE President) and Sari Tervonen (IBE Secretary General)


12.30-13.00        Science, medicine and politics

Luigi Ferrari (Diplomatic Counselor of the Minister of Health)


13.00-14.30        Lunch


Session III

Funding opportunities for epilepsy research and trends in the global scenario


14.30-14.45        Introduction: current epilepsy research and the priorities for future research in the EU

Philippe Ryvlin (ILAE, IBE)

14.45-15.30        Pharmaceutical industry investment in epilepsy research

Henrik Klitgaard (UCBpharma)

Antonio Laurenza (Eisai)

15.30-16.15        How the EU is supporting epilepsy research and what can be anticipated for the future

Lara Passante (EU)

Elisabetta Vaudano (IMI)


16.15-16.30        Coffee break


16.30-17.15        Research portfolio and initiatives of charities in support to epilepsy research

Tracy Dixon (CURE)

Helen Pernelet (Epilepsy Society UK)

Lucia Monaco (Telethon Italy)

17.15-18.00        ROUND TABLE chaired by Philippe Ryvlin



Gathering and art event


20.30  An art exhibition dedicated to epilepsy, accompanied by wine and cheese.


Thursday, October 29


Session IV

Epilepsy research in the EU


09.00-10.00        EpiTARGET

EpiTARGET consortium objectives. Merab Kokaia (coordinator)

Targets and treatments for preventing epileptogenesis in animal models of symptomatic epilepsy. Annamaria Vezzani

Sestrin 3, a regulator of a proconvulsant gene network in the epileptic hippocampus. Michele Simonato

10.00-11.00        EPImiRNA

EpimiRNA: consortium objectives. David Henshall (coordinator)

Genetics of miRNA. Iscia Lopes-Cendes

Novel miRNA targets and biomarkers. Gianpiero Cavalleri

11.00-11.30        Coffee Break


11.30-12.30        EpiSTOP

EpiSTOP consortium objectives. Sergiusz Jozwiak (coordinator)

Impact of epilepsy on mental development and autism. Paolo Curatolo

EEG as an early biomarker of epilepsy onset in young children. Jacek Jaworski

12.30-13.30       DESIRE

DESIRE - Strategies for innovative research to improve diagnosis, prevention and treatment in children with difficult to treat epilepsy. Janet Mifsud

Mosaic and germline mutations of the AKT/PIK3/mTOR pathway causing a range of epileptogenic brain malformations. Renzo Guerrini (coordinator)

Models of epileptic encephalopathies. Giuliano Avanzini

Preventing epileptogenesis in animal models of brain malformation with genetic tools. Alfonso Represa


13.30-14.30        Lunch

14.30-15.30        EpiPGX - Epilepsy Pharmacogenomics: past, present and future

EpiPGX: how we got there and how it went. Sanjay Sisodiya (coordinator)

EpiPGX: genetic strategies, current findings. Gianpiero Cavalleri

EpiGPX: the future, functional and personal. Holger Lerche


Session V

Innovative therapies for epilepsy


15.30-16.00       Highly efficient in vitro and in vivo delivery of functional RNAs using new versatile chimeric retrovirus-like particles

Jean-Christophe Pagès (Inserm Tours and HCB)


16.00-16.30        Coffee break


16.30-17.00        Development of HSV vectors for gene transfer in nervous system

Joseph C. Glorioso (University of Pittsburgh)


17.00-17.30        Gene therapy approaches to modifying neuronal excitability in focal epilepsy

Matthew Walker (UCL)


17.30-17.45 Conclusive remarks