EFNE Awards $150,000 in Research Grants

EFNE Awards $150,000 in Research Grants

blue skies

March 27, 2024 - Epilepsy Foundation New England provides ‘Help for Today and Hope for Tomorrow’ for tens of thousands of people living with epilepsy in New England.  On Tuesday, March 26th, 2024, the Foundation held its 3rd Annual Blue Skies Challenge at The Exchange Conference Center in Boston, MA. In this “Shark Tank” style competition, research groups pitch their epilepsy-related projects to a panel of four judges and an audience. This year, five different groups pitched their ideas while vying for one of two $75,000 grants. 


Each group was given 4 minutes to present their project, followed by 5 minutes of questions from our panel of judges and finished with a 4-minute public deliberation between the judges. The winners were chosen based on a weighted tally of the four judges and the audience vote. At the end of the night, it was announced that the two winners of the contest were: 


Establishing Clinical Trial Readiness for Progressive Myoclonic Epilepsy Type 1 (EPM1)

Dr. Darius Ebrahimi-Fakhari – Boston Children’s Hospital with Dr. Berge Minassian (Co-Investigator, UT Southwestern, Children’s Medical; Dallas), Dr. Daniel Calame (Co-Investigator, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital); Reetta Kälviäinen (Co-Investigator, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio University Hospital)

Minimally Invasive Genetic and Molecular Profiling of Focal Epilepsies

Dr. Sattar Khoshkhoo and Dr. John Rolston, MA General Brigham


Commenting on the event, Susan Linn, President and CEO says, “It is so important to continue research and innovation efforts for innovative ideas for greater treatment methods and improved quality of life for those living with epilepsy. We are so thankful to be able to provide grants for these very worthy research projects, and so proud of our contestants this year. We couldn’t do it without the support of our amazing community.” 

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