The 2013 Michael-Prize was awarded to
Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology
Institute of Neurology, Fudan University
Hua Shan Hospital
Ding Ding started her career of epilepsy research in 2002, as a co-investigator of a demonstration project in China: Epilepsy management at primary health level, one of the main activities being carried out by WHO, ILAE and IBE within the framework of the Global Campaign Against Epilepsy. She was involved in the epidemiological survey and long-term follow up of people with epilepsy. She measured the disease burden of epilepsy, and evaluated the cost and outcome of phenobarbital treatment in resource-poor areas in China. Her research interest also includes the quality of life, cognitive function, and genetic studies of epilepsy. Her most important contribution was the investigation of the premature mortality risk in people with epilepsy in China.
The Awards Committee for the Michael Prize 2013 unanimously recommends Dr.Ding Ding for this distinguished prize. Dr. Ding is a unique individual who has been instrumental in creating cohorts studies in China, particularly in rural areas, to assess the natural history of epilepsy as well as therapeutic interventions that have now been instituted countrywide by effectively lobbying the government to provide at least first level treatments to people with epilepsy. Indeed, she has been able to systematically address and validate clinical assessments as tools for population studies including genetic studies of epilepsy as well as predictors of sudden death. Her recent work identifies possible preventable causes of death in people with epilepsy in the rural setting where resources are less plentiful than other parts of the world. These studies have initiated a sequence of events supported by WHO and the Global Campaign Against Epilepsy to improve the care of people with epilepsy in her country and taking from the lessons learned there to other parts of the world. An important contribution is te observation that phenobarbital may afford long term benefits if taken regularly by people with convulsive epilepsy in rural China. Again this is an important message as phenobarbital is the least expensive anti-convulsant/anti-epileptic medication that we have currently available.
The committee understands that several of the studies were done as part of the larger group, but we believe that Dr. Ding is the key person in coordinating and the leader in advancing these well designed and conducted studies forward.
The prize money of € 20.000 was kindly donated by UCB. The Michael prize 2013 was be officially awarded at the opening session of the 30th International Epilepsy Congress in Montreal on Sunday, June 23rd 2013.