Congress Awards

The IBE/ILAE congress awards are presented biennially at the time of the International Epilepsy Congress, to honour individuals who have made significant contributions, over a long period of time and at international level, in the field of epilepsy. There are three categories: Ambassador for Epilepsy - presented to a maximum of 12 recipients; Social Accomplishment, presented to one individual; and the highest honour, Lifetime Achievement Award which, as its name implies, recognises a lifetime of achievement of an individual.

Lifetime Achievement Award

This is the highest award bestowed by IBE/ILAE and is given to an individual to recognise his or her exceptional and outstanding personal contribution over a long period of time to activities to advance the cause of epilepsy.

Presented to: Charlotte Dravet, France

Although especially known for the epilepsy syndrome that bears her name, Prof Dravet made impressive contributions to our understanding of the clinical and electrophysiological correlates of epilepsy syndromes of childhood. Her textbook Epileptic Syndromes in Infancy, Childhood and Adolescence, which she co-edited, has been updated many times over two decades and represents, to this day, a reference book for both students and epileptologists alike. She has mentored many trainees who have later become leading epileptologists, particularly in Europe and Latin America.

In addition to her clinical expertise and research achievements, Prof Dravet is known worldwide for her humble attitude, tireless work and dedication to the epilepsy mission, including her support to the many lay associations, some made up of families of children with Dravet syndrome, which advocate for better care for children with epilepsy. She has produced many publications for the lay community, particularly parents of children with epilepsy, to help them cope with aspects of the disease.


Social Accomplishment Award

Every two years, one person who has carried out outstanding activities aimed at improving the social circumstances of people with epilepsy, over a long period of time, is recognised.

Presented to: Susan Axelrod, USA

In 1998, Axelrod and two other mothers, frustrated with their inability to protect their children from the devastation of seizures and side effects of medications, spearheaded the search for a cure for epilepsy. Axelrod launched a nonprofit organization that has established a national and international presence in epilepsy awareness and research.

Under Axelrod's leadership, CURE has led a dramatic shift in the epilepsy research community from simply treating seizures to enhancing understanding of underlying mechanisms and causes, so that cures and preventative strategies can be found. CURE"s research program is cutting-edge, dynamic and responsive to new scientific opportunities and directions through both investigator-initiated grants and unprecedented scientific programs and initiatives and the exploration of new areas in the quest to find answers.

CURE has also funded landmark conferences, including the 2000 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Conference, Curing Epilepsy: Focus on the Future.


Ambassador for Epilepsy Award

The Ambassador for Epilepsy Award is the oldest IBE/ILAE award, having been introduced in 1968. To date, a total of 312 worthy recipients have received an Ambassador pin to reflect international peer recognition and which is given for the lifetime of the recipient. Twelve Ambassadors will be presented with their awards in Barcelona.

Michel Baulac, France

Dr Baulac is Professor of Neurology and Neuroanatomy at Paris Sorbonne University; Director, Neurology Department at la Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, co-founder of the National Center for Rare Epileptic Diseases, and epilepsy research coordinator at the Brain and Spinal Cord Institute. A member of the ILAE Commission on European Affairs from 2001 (its Chair in 2005), he was elected ILAE Vice President in 2009.

Giuseppe Capovilla, Italy

Giuseppe Capovilla is currently serving as President of the Italian League Against Epilepsy. He served as a member of the ILAE Commission on Classification and Terminology from 2009 to 2013. He is the Chair of the Task Force on Sport and Epilepsy since 2011. He is the expert of both the European Medicine Agency and Italian Medicine Agency for antiepileptic drugs since 2011.

Nathalie Jetté, Canada

Dr Jetté is a Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Community Health Sciences at University of Calgary and Director of the Calgary Epilepsy Program. She served as President of the Canadian League Against Epilepsy, and chair of the ILAE Guidelines Task Force since 2012. She is current Chair of the ILAE Stigma Task Force, and is also Chair of the ILAE Global Burden Task Force.

Jaideep Kapur, USA

Dr Kapur collaborated with Sheryl Haut and Tina Budnitz to design and implement the successful ILAE Leadership Development Program. He is a member of the ILAE Education Task Force. He is also a member of the ILAE North American Commission since 2010. He was President of the American Epilepsy Society in 2010.Dr Kapur has also made substantial and ground breaking contributions in bench research in epilepsy.

Astrid Nehlig, France

Dr Nehlig is a premier basic scientist in the field of developmental epilepsy, based in Strasbourg, France, with outstanding achievements through translational research and effective collaborations with clinicians. She is very active in consumer affairs as it pertains to the rights and opportunities to deliver better care of patients with epilepsy. She is Co-editor-in-chief of Epilepsia and under her leadership, the journal has become the premier source of the epilepsy community.

Terence O'Brien, Australia

Dr O'Brien is the James Stewart Professor of Medicine, and consultant neurologist at The Royal Melbourne Hospital. He is a member of the ILAE Neurobiology Commission since 2009, member of the Task Force for the Development of Research Priorities, member of the ILAE-IBE Global Research Advocacy Task Force. He is one of four co-Chairs of the joint ILAE/AES Task Force on Recommendations for Pre-clinical Epilepsy Drug Discovery.

Makiko Osawa, Japan

Dr Osawa is Professor Emeritus, Tokyo Women's Medical University, Tokyo, Japan. She has contributed to medicine as a paediatric neurologist and has engaged in the care of children with epilepsy for 44 years. She was elected the first woman president of Japan Epilepsy Society. She has been a member of the ILAE Pediatric Commission, and established the Infantile Seizure Society with late Dr Yukio Fukuyama, of which she is Chair.

Galo Pesantez Cuesta, Ecuador

Dr Pesantez Cuesta is Director, National Center for Epilepsy, Ecuador. He is vice chair IBE Latin American Regional Committee. He was coordinator of the international project "Neuropsychomotricity, an aid in the treatment of children with epilepsy", and current coordinator of "Cannabidiol in the treatment of refractory epilepsies" project of the National Epilepsy Center, Ecuador Ministry of Health, and University of Madrid, Spain.

Parthasarthy Satishchandra, India

Dr P Satishchandra is Senior Professor of Neurology, National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Science (NIMHANS), Bangalore and served as Director-Vice Chancellor from 2010 to 2016. His work led to NIMHANS achieving the status of ‘Institute of National Importance' by the Indian Parliament. He is Chair, IBE South East Asia Regional Committee 2013-2017 and Past President of the Indian Epilepsy Society.

Ivan Rektor, Czech Republic

Dr Rektor founded the Brno Epilepsy Center in 1992. He introduced its epilepsy surgery program with almost 900 surgeries performed since the first SEEG recording in 1995. He served on the board of the ILAE Czech Chapter since 1986 (President 2003-2007), was a member of the ILAE Sub-committee on Epilepsy Surgery of the Commission of Therapeutic Strategies, and a member of the CEA Working Group on Epilepsy Surgery.

Eugen Trinka, Austria

Prof Trinka, neurologist and psychiatrist, is Chairman, Department of Neurology, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg. He is Past President, Austrian Chapter of ILAE and President Elect, Austrian Neurological Society. He is Treasurer of the ILAE Commission on European Affairs (2013-2017). He is a member of several task forces of ILAE and the ILAE CEA and is a dedicated speaker and educator. He is actively involved in European Reference Network activities.

Samuel Wiebe, Canada

Samuel Wiebe is President-elect of the ILAE. At the University of Calgary, Canada he is Professor, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Associate Dean for Clinical Research, and Director, Comprehensive Epilepsy Program.
He has served in various leadership positions at the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), including President of the Canadian League Against Epilepsy, Chair of the North American Commission of the ILAE, leader of the Epilepsy Education Task Force, and has previously serves as Secretary General and Treasurer of the ILAE.

Sameer Zuberi, UK

Dr Zuberi is an international specialist in chromosome disorders associated with epilepsy. He is a consultant paediatric neurologist at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow. His main focus is on identifying and arresting DNA mutations that can lead to epilepsy, and determining the best treatment for those affected by these genetic disorders. Dr Zuberi is involved in the work of the ILAE Classification Task Force which recently reported on completion of its work.


Presentation of Ambassador for Epilepsy Awards

The Ambassador for Epilepsy Awards, together with the Social Accomplishment and Lifetime Achievement Awards will be presented to these most deserving recipients during the Opening Ceremony of the congress in Barcelona on Saturday 2nd September 2017.