Groundbreaking Work on Childhood Seizures

Dr. Tallie Z. Baram; © UCI

Baram’s work defined the molecular changes within brain cells that are caused by early life febrile seizures. She has studied how fever interacts with the brain to generate seizures, and how brain imaging can define individuals who are at risk for epilepsy after prolonged febrile seizures.

Her research also has helped establish an understanding of the neurobiology behind infantile spasms, a devastating form of epilepsy in infants. She was the first scientist to create a research concept for this disorder that is consistent with and explains the unusual responses of this form of epilepsy to stress hormones. Baram’s research on this topic identifies targets for the design of new and more effective drugs that may help calm these childhood seizures without the side effects of drugs designed for adults.

A native of Israel, Baram earned a doctorate from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. After receiving her medical degree from the University of Miami in 1980, Baram completed pediatrics and neurology residencies at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. She followed with faculty appointments at University of Texas at Houston and its M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and at USC, before joining UCI in 1995. In 2002, she founded the UCI Epilepsy Research Center, and she is currently the scientific director of the UCI Comprehensive Epilepsy Program.

The Epilepsy Research Recognition Award is annually given by the American Epilepsy Society, one of the oldest neurological professional organizations in the nation, with roots dating to 1898. The society promotes research and education for professionals dedicated to the prevention, treatment and cure of epilepsy.

MEDICA.de; Source: University of California - Irvine