The research pursuits of Gregory A. Worrell, M.D., Ph.D., are focused on epilepsy, a disorder characterized by seizures and affecting over 50 million people worldwide. For many patients, seizures are not controlled by currently available medical therapies; advances in neuroengineering have led to implantable devices that target epilepsy. Results from brain stimulation trials using first-generation devices have demonstrated excellent safety, but improvements in efficacy are needed.
The primary focus of Dr. Worrell's Bioelectronics Neurophysiology and Engineering Lab is directed at the investigation of electrophysiological signatures of the epileptogenic brain and the transition from normal brain activity to seizures, called ictogenesis. Electrophysiological biomarkers of epileptogenic brain and precursor signals that precede the onset of clinical seizures may make seizure warning devices possible, as well as lead to improvements in the efficacy of epilepsy surgery and brain stimulation.
- Brain mapping
- Comorbidities of epilepsy: depression, cognition and sleep disturbances
Significance to patient care
Research from Dr. Worrell's lab is highly translational and integrates basic scientific discovery, engineering and clinical trials with the goal of improving the lives of patients with epilepsy. In particular, Dr. Worrell's team is currently focused on the development of next-generation epilepsy management and therapy platforms. Next-generation devices will use advanced sensing and stimulation capability combined with embedded hardware for analytics in order to track the probability of seizure occurrence and deliver the right therapy at the right time.
- Chair, Merritt-Putnam Symposium, American Epilepsy Society, 2015-2018
- Chair, Research Initiative Committee, American Epilepsy Society, 2011-2013
- The Maggie Loeffel Award, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy, 2004