Dr. Ruth Ottman, Columbia University Mailman School professor of epidemiology in neurology and deputy director for research, G.H. Sergievsky Center, received the American Epilepsy Society’s Epilepsy Research Award for Clinical Science Research. The formal award presentation was made at the American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting in Seattle on December 6 where more than 5,000 of the world’s leading epilepsy professionals gathered to exchange ideas and learn about the most recent clinical and basic research, technology and treatment developments. Dr. Ottman was selected for her contributions to understanding and conquering epilepsy.
Dr. Ottman is also a research scientist in the Division of Epidemiology at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and serves as deputy director of the Columbia Center for Research on Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications of Psychiatric, Neurologic, and Behavioral Genetics. She has been at Columbia throughout her career.
Dr. Ottman’s research group was the first to recognize the epilepsy syndrome autosomal dominant epilepsy with auditory features and to identify LGI1 as a major susceptibility gene for the disorder. She developed and validated several research instruments for standardizing data collection on epilepsy in large-scale studies. She has recently begun to focus on the clinical and psychosocial impact of genetic information on individuals with epilepsy and their family. Dr. Ottman is a major collaborator in the Epilepsy Phenome / Genome Project and in the Epi4K Center without Walls for Collaborative Research in the Epilepsies.