Uniting doctors and scientists

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Diagnosing

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Understanding

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Healing

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Sharing

Epinext strives to share their research results, actual patient cases and data, success stories and dead ends with the international science community as well as the general public.

A main objective is to invite and teach scientists from related fields about epilepsy because it requires the combined knowledge from biology, medicine, mathematics and physics to really make a difference in patient care. Epinext brings the clinic into the lab and the scientists to the patient‘s bed.

The general public and especially patients and their families will benefit from Epinext‘s transparent approach and clear focus on drug-resistant epilepsy, offering many people a new hope to get better and help the public understand how common and serious this disease is.

Education

Education platform

The conveyance of fundamental mathematical and modeling skills to scientists from adjacent fields like medicine, biology or psychology is vital to enable contemporary research and utilization of all available tools for epileptic disorders. Epinext will set up a web-based distance learning facility based on an existing open-source project to reach as many international scientists as possible.

Teaching program

To foster a new generation of scientists thinking interdisciplinary, Epinext will implement new student teaching programs in Developmental Biology and Neurosciences. Under the A*MIDEX label, Epinext's partners are responsible for running the “Neurosciences/Brain Master Program”. The program will be open to students of medicine, biology, engineering and physics as Epinext is uniquely aimed at intensifying collaboration between clinicians and researchers.

These courses will use an innovative pedagogical approach, namely Problem Based Learning (PBL) where students learn about a subject by focusing on the steps needed to solve particular problems.

International learning

Epinext aims to reach 30% of international students from medical and scientific fields within the existing Brain Master Program. For this purpose, PBL, clinically oriented Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC) and Small Private Online Courses (SPOC) will be set up.

Seminars and conferences

Within the Brain Master Program, seminars and keynote conferences related to the pathophysiology of the nervous system will be offered to both scientific and medical students. This is part of the PhD program in Integrative and Clinical Neurosciences (ICN PhD) by A*MIDEX which also provides post-doctoral positions for research projects in clinical units.

Dissemination

For the international science community, Epinext will organize two workshops in Marseille in 2016 and 2018, each allowing for about 100 attendees.

The general public will be addressed in numerous ways to enhance awareness about neuroscience in general and inform about the prevalence and prospects of patients with epilepsy:

  • The science & art event ”My Virtual Dream” will be brought to Marseille in 2017, offering a uniquely immersive experience of modern brain imaging and modeling. This will be accompanied by public science exhibitions and lecture series.

    MyVirtualDream installation underway (photo by Steve Zylius / UC Irvine)

  • Epinext members will contribute to several public events to inform about brain research in neurosciences, e.g. La Semaine du Cerveau, Fête de la science and association Tous Chercheurs.
  • Every year, an open day about brain diseases will be organized with seminars and lab tours and voluntary involvement of patients.
  • All Epinext teams, be it clinical or basic research, are encouraged to reach out to public media to publish their latest results.

Societal and ethical issues

Epilepsy is still considered a ”mental disorder” and carries a stigma for centuries. Its prevalence, variance and impact on patients, their families and the society in general is still poorly considered.

Therefore, Epinext will focus on four areas of communication to make the lives of epilepsy patients better in public perception:

  • Promote more comprehensive care for epilepsy patients by involving ”human and social sciences” to a higher degree, e.g. psychology, sociology, health economics, management, ethics and political sciences.
  • Disseminate the progress of scientific understanding and clinical treatment through conferences with a wide audience
  • Offer trainings and courses for representatives of epilepsy associations, patients and their families
  • Offer expertise and surveys to health decision-making structures like local authorities and municipalities, thus influencing the development of public health programs

The Epinext YouTube Channel compiles presentations for patients and their families, helping them understand the disease and treatment options.

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