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Drs. Cejas and HunterThe UNC Department of Neurology is proud to announce that child neurologists Senyene Hunter, MD, PhD, and Diana Cejas, MD, MPH, are this year’s recipients of the UNC Broyhill Research Award in Child Neurology.

Dr. Hunter received an award of $25,000 to apply cutting-edge genomic sequencing technology to the identification of novel genetic defects in participants with infantile spasms. The increased sensitivity will facilitate detection of genetic determinants of epilepsies and identification of novel targets for treatment.

Dr. Cejas was awarded $12,500 to improve healthcare transition of patients with neurodevelopmental disabilities from a child-centered to an adult-oriented health care system. The study will identify factors that facilitate or hinder successful transition and then use the information to design a more effective healthcare transition program.

The goal of the Broyhill Research Award in Child Neurology is to support novel studies of the developing nervous system or the impact of diseases on the developing nervous system. The awards are made annually with up to two years of support, and no more than two awards are made each year. The awards are commensurate with the proposed work—up to $25,000.

This year, several competitive award submissions were evaluated for their scientific merit, feasibility and relevance for advancing a career in the study and treatment of diseases of the developing nervous system. Members of the award committee included Neurology Department Chair, Dr. Gwenn Garden, and two faculty members, Drs. Rick Meeker and Chon Lee.

All UNC Neurology faculty are encouraged to apply for the award each year although priority is given to junior faculty. Non-neurology faculty, resident mentees or medical student mentees may also apply if the proposed studies are in collaboration with primary UNC Neurology faculty.